Tokyo Bay Olympic rings temporarily removed

The Olympic ring monument in the Tokyo Bay area has been temporarily removed as it set to undergo safety inspections and maintenance following the postponement of the showpiece event.

According to Kyodo News, the rings will be placed back in the same position in about four months’ times. The monument, which is 33m in width and 15m in height, was towed away by small boats.

Tokyo 2020 was initially set to be hosted in July this year but due to coronavirus pandemic, it will now take place from July 23 till August 8 in 2021.

Games’ spokesman Masa Takaya has not ruled out the possibility of hosting the postponed Olympic Games behind closed doors while insisting that nobody wants to see the games without spectators.

Japan’s JIJI Press last week quoted an unnamed Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive, who is “close” to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as saying that the games “should definitely take place, even without spectators”.

“This autumn onwards, we will have a meeting body attended by these three parties, so we will see the outcome of this meeting body,” Takaya told reporters earlier this week.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had said in July that the IOC is opposed to staging events without fans.

“He (Bach) is not willing to see the games without spectators,” Takaya said. “Tokyo 2020 is not willing to see the games without spectators either. So no one is willing to see the games without spectators.

“In this respect, we will keep monitoring the situation carefully of COVID-19 then we will have thorough discussions among key parties to deliver a safe and secure games next year,” he added.