JAPAN INSISTS GAMES WILL GO AHEAD AS IT REJECTS REPORT OF CANCELLATION

Japan doubled down on its commitment to host the Tokyo Olympics this year and flatly denied reports on Friday of a cancellation, in a move that is unlikely to temper public fears of holding the event during a global pandemic.

Though much of Japan is under a state of emergency due to a third wave of COVID-19 infections, Tokyo organizers have consistently vowed to press ahead with the Games scheduled to open on July 23 after having been postponed in March last year.

A government spokesman said there was “no truth” to a report in The Times that Japan was now focused on rescheduling the event to 2032.

“We will clearly deny the report,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai said in a press conference on Friday.

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee also denied the report, saying its partners including the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee were “fully focused” on hosting the games as scheduled.