The Japan government has reportedly come to a conclusion that the Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A senior member of the ruling coalition in the country was cited for the development in The Times.
It is further reported that the government is now focussing on preparing to host the Olympic Games in the next available year - 2032.
"No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it's too difficult," The Times quoted the source as saying. "Personally, I don't think it's going to happen."
The development comes a day after International Olympic Committee's president Thomas Bach had assured that the Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled. He insisted that there is no plan B and that the IOC is committed to hold a "safe and successful" Olympics in Tokyo.
Bach had assured hosts Japan that IOC firmly believes the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23 in the Olympic stadium. "This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to making these games safe and successful," he had said.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has consistently vowed to host the Games as scheduled but former foreign minister Taro Kono, now the minister for administrative and regulatory reform, said earlier that anything can happen."
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee was among the first to react to the report from The Times, stating that it remains committed in preparations for Tokyo Olympics as now scheduled.
"Any official communication on the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will come from the IOC, Tokyo Organizing Committee and the Japanese government," the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee wrote on Twitter.
"We have not received any information suggesting the Games will not happen as planned, and our focus remains on the health and preparedness of Team USA athletes ahead of the Games this summer."
The Australian Olympic Committee, meanwhile, wroe, "The AOC is continuing its planning to ensuring the Australian Olympic Team arrives in Tokyo, competes and returns home safe and COVID-free," the AOC said in a statement.