Amid cancellation talk, Tokyo Olympics `focused on hosting'

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2020, file photo, ThomasBach, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President,speaks during the joint press conference between IOC and Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) in Tokyo, Japan. The International Olympic Committee is pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be canceled and will not open on July 23. The Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and now their future appears threatened again.(DuXiaoyi/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2020, file photo, ThomasBach, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President,speaks during the joint press conference between IOC and Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) in Tokyo, Japan. The International Olympic Committee is pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be canceled and will not open on July 23. The Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and now their future appears threatened again.(DuXiaoyi/Pool Photo via AP, File)

TOKYO – IOC President Thomas Bach and local organizers are pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be canceled.

Now set to open July 23, the Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and now the event appears threatened again.

The Times of London, citing unidentified government sources, reported that the games will have to be canceled. It quoted an unidentified senior member of the ruling government coalition.

“No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it’s too difficult,” the person said. “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

In a statement Friday, the local organizing committee did not address directly The Times story, but said the Olympics were going forward and had the support of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

“All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) are fully focused on hosting the games this summer,” the statement said.

“We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure games.”

The IOC released a brief statement saying it is “fully concentrated on and committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this year.”