London Seems Ready to Replace Tokyo as Host of 2020 Olympics
Feb 20, 2020
London, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)–Two major candidates in the London mayoral election in May suggested Wednesday that the city is ready to host the 2020 Summer Olympics if Tokyo is forced to give up hosting the Games due to a possible epidemic of the new coronavirus in Japan.
London, which hosted the 2012 Games, “can host the Olympics in 2020,” Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey said on Twitter.
“We have the infrastructure and the experience. And due to the coronavirus outbreak, the world might need us to step up,” Bailey said.
“As Mayor, I will make sure London is ready to answer the call and host the Olympics again,” he said.
Local newspaper City A.M. reported a comment by a spokesman for Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan that London will do its best in the unlikely event that it be required, although everyone is working toward the success of the Tokyo Games.
John Coates, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games coordination committee (left), and Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori
Tokyo Olympics have no ‘Plan B’ for coronavirus, organizers say
February 14, 2020
There is no “Plan B” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if the event is affected by the coronavirus outbreak in nearby China, organizers said.
“There’s no case for any contingency plans or canceling the Games or moving the Games,” John Coates, head of an International Olympics Committee inspection team, said at a press conference in Tokyo Thursday.
Coates, who had just wrapped up a two-day trip to investigate possible risks, said the World Health Organization has advised him that a back-up plan isn’t necessary.
He added that the starting date of July 24 “remains on track.”
The rapidly spreading virus has infected nearly 64,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of 1,400 people, with only one fatality reported in Japan.
At the press event, elected officials were also asked if there are any “organizational changes” planned for rolling out the games in light of the virus.
“This stage, no. We are not thinking of any such possibility,” said Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister who is heading the Olympic planning committee.
But outside experts warned that coronavirus-related health risks to Japan are hard to predict.
“There is no guarantee that the outbreak will come to an end before the Olympics because we have no scientific basis to be able to say that,” Shigeru Omi, a former regional director of the WHO.
“We should assume that the virus has already been spreading in Japan.”