TOKYO (AP) – Two top officials of‘s ruling LDP party on Thursday said radical changes could be coming to the Tokyo . One went as far to suggest they still could be canceled, and the other that even if they proceed, it might be without any fans.
Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, suggested the cancellation just a day after Tokyo reached the 100-days-to-go mark on Wednesday.
He made his comments in a show recorded by’s TBS TV.
“If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled,” Nikai said. “If there is a surge in infections because of, there will be no meaning to having .”
Asked if a cancellation was still an option, Nikai said: “Of course.”
But he also added: “It is important forto have a successful . It is a big opportunity. I want to make it a success. We will have many issues to resolve and prepare, and it is important to take care of them one by one.”
COVID-19 cases have been surging across. On Wednesday, the second-largest city of Osaka recorded over 1,100 new cases, its highest total since January. also recorded more than 4,000 new cases, also high-marks dating back to early in the year. has attributed 9,500 death to COVID-19, good by world standards but poor by results in Asia.
Taro Kono, the government minister in charge of’s vaccine rollout, said even if go on, there may be no fans of any kind in the venues. He said it’s likely that will have to held in empty venues, particularly as cases surge across the country.
That means only television cameras and still cameras will be around to record the action, joined by some reporters, judges and match officials.
in a way that is possible in this situation,”Kono said Thursday on a television talk show. “That may mean there will probably be no spectators.”
Kono did not suggestwould not go ahead, but he said they could be held under only “certain conditions.”
“The way thesewill be held will be very different from past ones,” he said.
Tokyo organizers have said they expect to announce a decision this month on the number of fans allowed into each venue.
Organizers had expected to receive about $800 million from ticket sales, their third-largest source of income. Any shortfall will have to be made up by Japanese government entities, which are already footing most of the bills.
The official cost foris $15.4 billion, but several government audits have suggested it might be twice that much.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Wade contribute to this report.
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