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Japan presses on with Olympics preparations despite surging coronavirus cases

Author: ReutersID: 1610514174679245500Wed, 2021-01-13
04:40 TOKYO: Japan’s government is
continuing with preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer
as planned, following a postponement because of the coronavirus
pandemic, chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said on
Wednesday. Japan has repeatedly insisted it will hold
the Games despite opinion polls showing a majority of respondents
want them postponed again or canceled. “Right now we’re
working as one with everybody involved in organizing the Games to
host them successfully,” Kato told a regular news conference. The comments come as local media reported Japanese Prime
Minister Yoshihide Suga and US philanthropist Bill Gates had spoken
about the Olympic Games on Tuesday in a call arranged by Suntory
Holdings Ltd. CEO Takeshi Niinami. Suga told Gates the
Games were “very important” and would “definitely” go ahead, Kyodo
news agency quoted Niinami as saying. But Kato said
Suga did not make that comment to Gates. “I’ve checked
and as far as I know, that expression was not used,” Kato
said. Japan is grappling with a third wave of the
coronavirus, with infections hovering at a record-high.
The Olympic Games were originally due to take place in
2020. Main
category: Sport