Covid-19 vaccine not a ‘prerequisite’ for Olympics, says Tokyo 2020 CEO

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has stated that a COVID-19 vaccine is not a requirement for holding next year’s postponed Olympics and Paralympics.

Muto on Friday attended the first meeting on countermeasures against the coronavirus pandemic with a Japanese government panel, which is headed by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita and consists of about 30 members from the central government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and Tokyo 2020 organising committee.

The meeting touched upon the current status of the pandemic and basic scheme for measures for next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It’s not a prerequisite,” Muto said of the vaccine while speaking to reporters. “The International Olympic Committee and the WHO already discussed this matter. It’s not a condition for the delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

“A vaccine is not a requirement. Of course, if vaccines are developed, we’ll really appreciate it. And for Tokyo 2020 this will be great. But if you ask me if that’s a condition – it’s not a condition,” he added.

“As for the spectators, we don’t have any conclusions yet,” the Tokyo 2020 CEO said. “But if possible, we’d like to avoid a ‘no spectators’ situation.”

The Tokyo Games were scheduled to be in July-August this year but because of the coronavirus pandemic — which has claimed more than 8 lakh lives so far — it has been postponed till next year summer.