On 14 March, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Tokyo Olympics would not be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus.
There will be an International Olympic Committee meeting held today (17 March) to discuss the Olympics and the qualifying events that have been affected.
Minister for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Seiko Hashimoto, said: “A complete Olympics is what we are aiming for. We will do our utmost to prepare [to hold the Olympics] as scheduled so that the International Olympic Committee will be convinced we are capable of hosting the games.”
Hashimoto explained that a ‘complete’ Olympics meant an event that “started on time and with spectators in attendance”.
As of today, Japan has had more than 1,400 cases and 28 deaths resulting from coronavirus.
The Japan section of the Olympic Torch relay is due to start in Fukushima on 26 March. On 10 March, Toshiro Muto, the Tokyo 2020 chief executive, told reporters that parts of the Olympic torch relay would be scaled back because of coronavirus, but that spectators would still be allowed to watch from the roadside.
Muto also said that welcome and departure ceremonies for the flame along the relay route will not be going ahead.
Chef de Mission for Team GB, Mark England, says athletes are currently working under the assumption that the Games are still going ahead.
However, England has said that Team GB are waiting for ‘clear guidance’ from the relevant organisers and federations in regards to qualification events, which may take some time.
England said to BBC Sport: “It is a very difficult time and a very worrying time, not just for our athletes but in general for everyone concerned.
“Clearly it is not just a sporting decision, it is a global health decision that will be made and for sure that is more important at the moment.”