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Tokyo 2020 reiterates 'close collaboration' with IOC

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-22 17:31
A man wearing a protective face mask jogs past a wall which depicts the mascot for the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tokyo, Japan, April 28, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said on Friday that the Olympic Games organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are "in close collaboration" in a bid to host the postponed Olympic Games.

These remarks came two days after IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with the BBC that the Tokyo Olympics will be canceled if it is not possible to hold it in 2021.

Takaya told Xinhua, "The new dates for the Games are already set, and our mission is to prepare for the best stage for the Games next year.

"Tokyo 2020 and the IOC are in close collaboration, and the IOC is also fully committed to delivering the Games in 2021."

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters in an online news conference on Thursday that he had also noticed Bach's interview via media reports.

"We are aware of President Bach's comments in the press interview," Muto said. "Since we haven't had a chance to speak with him directly, we would like to withhold our comments about his statement."

But Muto denied that Bach's cancellation claim is the "common understanding" between the IOC and Tokyo 2020, although Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori expressed the same view in an interview with Nikkan Sports daily in April.

"Mr. Mori was trying to say that we should have the mentality to prepare the Games so that it can take place next year," Muto said. "I don't think they have a common understanding about canceling the Games."

Bach told BBC Sport, "You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty."

The IOC chief also stressed a "clear commitment" to hosting the Games in July next year, adding that they have to consider health measures, including potential quarantine for athletes and other participating members. 

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