The delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will definitely go ahead this summer whatever the impact of Covid-19, organisers have said.
Cases in Japan remain far higher than last year, increasing fears that the Games may have to be cancelled altogether.
But Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said: “We will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus [situation] looks.”
Mori’s statement is the strongest indication yet that the Games will proceed, albeit possibly with minimal spectators.
“We must consider new ways of hosting the Olympics,” Mori added at the meeting of Japan’s Sports Research Commission.
The International Olympic Committee insisted last week that it was examining how, not if, Tokyo 2020 would take place.
It came after reports that ministers had accepted it would have to be cancelled and the former chief of London 2012 said he doubted the Games could take place as planned.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to begin on 23 July and the Paralympics on 24 August.