Japan's Olympics minister stated that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics contract allows the Games to postpone at the end of the year, on Tuesday. The news came amidst all the tensions of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak and fears that the quadrennial event could get cancelled due to the epidemic. The Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto stated in response to a lawmaker's question, " The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement."
She further added that Japan's government and the host city Tokyo were still committed to hosting the Games which is going to start from July 24. And under the hosting agreement, the right to cancel the Games belongs to the IOC.
Will the Olympics get postponed?
Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), reiterated on Tuesday that preparations were still underway for a "successful" Games in Tokyo. Any halt to the Games would be costly. The latest budget is 1.35 trillion yen ($12.51 billion), with Japan's government providing 120 billion yen to build the Olympic Stadium and 30 billion yen toward the cost of the 2020 Paralympics, Hashimoto said.
Japan's Board of Audit put government spending between the bid in 2013 and 2018 at 1.06 trillion yen. To curb the coronavirus, Japan's government has asked schools to close and encouraged the curtailment of events, including sports meetings, that could attract large crowds. Japan Para Sports Association and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organisers said on Tuesday they would cancel a wheelchair rugby test event this month due to the coronavirus.