Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday said the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics "will be held this summer" despite concern over rising COVID-19 cases.
According to a BBC report, COVID-19 cases in Japan are seeing a surge with capital Tokyo reporting over 1,000 daily infections for the first time. Also, cases of the "fast-spreading" new coronavirus variant have emerged in the country. As on December 29, Japan had a total of 15 cases of the mutant coronavirus.
However, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga said the "Games will be held this summer" and they will be "safe and secure". The Olympics are due to begin on July 23, while the Paralympics will start from August 24. Notably, the budget for the Games has increased to $15.9bn (£11.8bn) from $2.8bn (£2.1bn) due to measures needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier in his New Year's address, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga vowed to fight against COVID-19. "The Suga Cabinet firmly promises to protect citizens' lives and livelihoods, continuing to put all of our energy into preventing the spread of infections and reviving the economy," Kyodo News quoted PM Suga as saying.
Suga, who took office in September called the coronavirus outbreak an "unprecedented national crisis," and thanked frontline health care workers for working "day and night" to fight against the virus.