Japan Preparing For Tokyo Olympics, Postponement Could Have Impact

The logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen in Tokyo on February 15, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The Japanese government has responded to the postponement speculation by saying that the country is still preparing to hold the Tokyo Summer Olympics as planned. The sporting event is scheduled for late July but there are concerns over the deadly coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in the country is now more than 1,000. The recent spread of the virus around the world has brought up concerns, with some speculation that the government might have to postpone or cancel the event.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the country is still preparing to hold the event as planned. The comments from Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary came a day after Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto brought up concerns after she said that the city’s contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could be interpreted as allowing a postponement.

The number of cases in Japan has increased over the last few weeks. On Wednesday, it was revealed that the country had crossed 1,000 cases. The event is months away but the quick rise in cases has already brought up a lot of speculation on the famous sporting event.

Virus Continues To Spread

A few weeks ago, organizers expressed their concerns over the virus, which surfaced in China back in December. China has seen the majority of cases but other countries are now reporting several cases. Parts of Europe have reported several deaths linked to the virus. Earlier today, health authorities in Chile confirmed a second case. The first case was reported not too long ago and health authorities confirmed the second case involved the wife of the first confirmed case. Local media reports that the two were recently on vacation in Europe.

CNBC reports that last month, a senior member of the IOC said that organizers are more likely to take the cancel route rather than have it postponed. But a cancellation would leave big losses for Japan, which has been preparing for the event for years.

The event is one of many that are surrounded by speculation over concerns of the virus. Organizers of other events are currently considering the idea of postponement while others are announcing measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

Tech Industry One of the Most Affected

The virus has heavily affected the tech industry, which has seen the cancellation or decrease of presence for many events. Last month, organizers of the MWC 2020 tech show were forced to cancel the event completely. The decision came after several companies withdrew from the event. Companies such as Sony, LG, and Ericsson cancelled their appearances and announced they would unveil their products at later dates.

Other events such as PAX East saw changes from some of the companies. Square Enix reduced its presence while Sony and a few others decided not to attend. The Game Developers Conference, which was scheduled for later this month, was recently postponed due to concerns around the spread of the virus. Sony and Facebook have already cancelled their appearance there.