The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, have announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be rescheduled to 2021.
The decision, announced in a joint statement today, is designed to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement follows the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO), which said the pandemic is accelerating. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide, and in nearly every country, and the number is growing by the hour.
The two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against COVID-19.
They agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.