Organisers of the postponed Tokyo Games have decided to not hold a large-scale event marking the one year countdown to the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday.
The organisers in conjunction with the Tokyo Metropolitan government decided on this recourse to cut costs related to the postponement while also being conscious of pandemic risks.
“We cannot hold a lively event while the risk of infection continues,” National Broadcaster NHK quoted an unnamed committee source as saying.
The organising committee believes that due to high coronavirus infections and deaths rates globally, public opinion demands a different kind of message. Posters and messages of encouragement to athletes may be put up and displayed online to maintain a moderate tone during these uncertain times. Kyodo News reported on Friday that the posters would also be published via newspapers and other media channels to include messages for athletes.
In the midst of these decisions and solutions being pursued, a Tokyo 2020 executive board member has said organisers will need to monitor the novel coronavirus situation until next spring before deciding whether to go ahead with the Summer Olympics
The remarks -- made by Toshiaki Endo -- mark the first time an executive from the organising committee has commented on the timing for a decision on going through with the Games, something that has received extensive criticism from across the world.
Also Read | Australian Cricketers Brace for Pay Cuts as CA Projects Revenue Dip
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games -- which had been due to start in July -- in March and announced new dates within two weeks of the first announcement. A further delay beyond 2021 has been ruled out.
While the nationwide lockdown due to pandemic has been lifted in Japan, there is a lingering fear of a second wave due to recent rise in cases.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick