Olympic games may face cancellation if virus continues into 2021
The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo were rescheduled to July of next year, but it's possible the event will still be cancelled.
This marks the strongest statement in support of canceling the Olympics and Paralympics from a leading organizer; until this point, most officials have said they anticipate holding the much-anticipated games.
But President Mori changed the tone of the conversation when he was asked about the games in an interview with Nikkan Sports.
During the chat, he was asked if the games will, once again, be postponed should the pandemic continue to impact Tokyo during 2021.
Mori replied, "No. It will be canceled then. The Olympics were canceled in the past for problems like war. We are fighting against an invisible enemy now."
That said, Mori also reiterated that organizers hope to hold the games next year, and this is still the goal they're working towards.
"The Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with them after winning this battle," he said.
"We have to believe this otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded."
Meanwhile, leading Japanese doctor Yoshitake Yokokura said that it would be "difficult to hold the Olympics" without an effective vaccine.
"I am not saying that (Japan) should or shouldn't host it, but I expect it would be difficult to do so," Yokokura, President of Japan's Medical Association, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
"I want to believe that (the number of) infected people (in Tokyo) is decreasing. But there is not enough testing being conducted in Japan so it's difficult to assess (if the number of cases have fallen).
"We need to monitor the situation for another week."
There are 13,614 reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan and at least 385 deaths, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The Tokyo 2020 public relations office told reporters that "the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Games are already set in 2021."
It continued: "The mission of the organizing committee is to prepare for the stage for the Games next year.
"We have built a framework for the measures against the coronavirus, where the IOC and Tokyo2020 exchange information and carry out a close coordination including the WHO. We will continue to keep this close coordination with all parties involved and discuss further steps as necessary."
In a statement released last week, the IOC said that Japan would not manage a second postponement, but added that it was "very confident that all the complex parts will come together and gives us a marvelous Games."
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Woman killed at tire shop in freak accident
Junk house ordered to be cleaned up, again
At least 1,000 vaccines to be administered at a church in North...
6,000 SU football tickets up for grabs Saturday as state enters Phase...
Husband shot wife, killed himself outside counseling center in Baton Rouge