TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that postponing the Tokyo Olympic Games may become an option if holding the event in its “complete form” became impossible.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the Tokyo 2020 Games – including a possible postponement – as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

Abe said the IOC decision on Sunday was in line with the view that the Tokyo Games should be held in its complete form.

“If that becomes difficult, we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games” given the Olympics’ principle of putting the health of athletes first, he told parliament.

Abe also said cancelling the Games was not an option.

He said he had conveyed his views about the fate of the Olympics to Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori on Sunday evening, who then discussed the issue with IOC President Thomas Bach.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

All copyrights for this article are reserved to The Star