Asahi, Yomiuri, and Nikkei wrote that in view of the global spread of the new coronavirus, President Trump reportedly told the press at the White House on Thursday that the Tokyo Olympics may need to be postponed for a year. The President reportedly added that a postponement would be better than seeing empty stadiums. Nikkei noted that the President previously said the decision on whether to hold the Olympics in the summer as scheduled was up to Prime Minister Abe.
NHK aired a similar report this morning saying that President Trump expressed the view that postponing the Tokyo Olympics for a year could be inevitable due to the coronavirus outbreak. The President was quoted as telling the press on Thursday: “For the Olympics, maybe I just can’t see having no people there, in other words, not allowing people. Maybe, and this is just my idea, maybe they postpone it for a year.” When asked by reporters whether he is planning to ask Prime Minister Abe to postpone the Games, the President reportedly said he is not but added that postponement would be a “better alternative” than having empty stadiums. Concerning the President’s remarks, the IOC reportedly told the network that the committee will work closely with Japan and relevant agencies to hold the games safely in July this year. The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee also reportedly told the network that the committee, the IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with the Japanese and Tokyo governments while taking into account advice from the WHO in preparing to hold the event safely in July this year as scheduled.