Tokyo Olympics likely to be cancelled due to COVID-19: Senior Japanese official

"What's the meaning of the Olympics if we spread this infectious disease to many people during the Olympics?”

Abhinav Goel Author

Updated - 15 April 2021 6:30 pm

A senior Japanese government official has admitted that cancelling this year's Tokyo Olympic Games remains an option. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party, said that Japan might have to "give up" on the Tokyo Olympics if rising coronavirus cases in the country made the event "impossible".

Nikai said, "What's the meaning of the Olympics if we spread this infectious disease to many people during the Olympics?”

Japan is currently grappling with rising coronavirus cases, with numbers increasing in Tokyo after the government ended a state of emergency, and Osaka posting a record 1,130 new cases on Wednesday.

Japan experiencing fourth wave of COVID-19

According to experts, Japan is experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19, with official figures showing more than 36,000 active cases, and new variant strains putting huge burden on Japan's medical system. "Canceling Olympics" was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday, with more than 20,000 tweets from users.

The Olympic Games are set to begin in 99 days and for now, the government is pushing ahead with the preparations for the Olympics, putting social distancing measures and restrictions on spectators in place.