TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI AND TOKYO 2020 CEO TOSHIRO MUTO ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE
2. MORI AND TOKYO 2020 CEO TOSHIRO MUTO (LEFYTTAKING SEATS
3. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING:
"First of all, regarding cancellation, we have never considered it. Its unimaginable."
4. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
5. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING:
"Postponement isn't our first course of action but we can't not consider it."
6. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
7. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING:
"People of this country have worked together and so in Japan we think the issue (of coronavirus) has settled, but we can't let our guard down about it, especially because in US, Europe and new areas are undergoing extreme situations now. We understand that, we have heard many opinions from many places and to undertake this (the Games) as initially planned -- we are not that foolish."
8. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
9. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 CEO, TOSHIRO MUTO, SAYING:
"In addition, there are many stakeholders involved. We have worked for six years for Olympics to start on July 24. This work will have to be re-done. Of course, the second time should be more efficient. However, we do have many contracts set already and reviewing these contracts again is not an easy task."
10. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
11. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING:
"Until the Grand Start on the 26th, including today we still have three days, I have told them, by that time, we will discuss with those who are involved."
12. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
13. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING:
"I think these questions are very rude. I don't even know if I will be alive or not, so I can't comment on that now."
14. MUTO AND MORI LEAVING
STORY: Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori said on Monday (March 23) that organisers would consider postponement as one of many scenarios that they aim to have ready in four weeks, but that the Games would not be canceled.
Mori told a news conference a team of people from among the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo organisers would discuss how to proceed with the Games.
On Monday, Canada became the first country to boycott the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic and Australia told its athletes to prepare for an Olympics next year as Japan and IOC flagged the prospect of a postponement for the first time.
Under mounting pressure to postpone the Games, the OIC and Japanese government had on Sunday (March 22) and Monday had only partially shifted their position that the Games would go ahead as planned. The torch relay is due to begin on Thursday (March 26) and although it has not been cancelled at this stage, Tokyo 2020 organisers said they were considering it.
(Prodction: Jack Tarrant)