Abe says IOC agrees ‘100%’ that Olympics should be postponed

Coronavirus

A visitor wearing a face mask stands near the Olympic rings at Tokyo’s Odaiba district Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Tokyo Olympics are probably going to happen, but almost surely in 2021 rather than in four months as planned. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

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Abe said after his telephone talks with Bach that he requested a postponement of about one year “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform in their best conditions and the sense of safety and security for the audience.

Abe held telephone talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

Just two weeks ago, Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, said he received an apology from an executive board member who said the 2020 Games should be delayed a year to two because of the coronavirus. Mori then called a quick news conference at the committee headquarters to shoot down the comments.

“There is no plan now to change our plans,” Mori said during the news conference.

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WFRV Local 5 contributed to this story.

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