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Coronavirus Update: 2020 Tokyo Olympics Could Be Postponed Due to Outbreak

The Games aren't canceled yet

Amanda Bell

All eyes are on Tokyo, Japan, as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the globe. The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the capital city of Japan from July 24 until Aug. 9 of this year, but as COVID-19 continues to affect the country and has led to major event cancellations in various parts of the world, many have been wondering whether this year's Olympics will continue on as planned.

Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto has now indicated that there is a chance the Tokyo Olympics may be rescheduled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. As detailed by the BBC, he spoke to Japan's parliament and said that the International Olympic Committee merely "calls for the Games to be held in 2020, [which] could be interpreted as allowing a postponement."

However, Hasimoto also added, "We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned."

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, which maintains the right the cancel the Games, said that the organization is still "fully committed" to hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as planned.

One series of events that has already been impacted in Japan as a result of the coronavirus is the nation's annual cherry blossom festivals, which typically take place between March and May.

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If the Olympics are affected, it would be the latest major event to be altered the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, Disney+ also canceled its European media launch event in the U.K. over coronavirus concerns, and several trade summits, music tours, entertainment productions, and more have been canceled, postponed, or otherwise adjusted in the wake of this disease.


The Olympic Rings are pictured at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne on March 3, 2020