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International Games
Monday, September 07, 2020
Tokyo 2020 Commission Chair Coates - Games Will Take Place

Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair John Coates has claimed the Olympic Games will take place next year, with or without COVID-19.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president made the declaration in an interview with Agence France-Presse.

Coates' comments come amid ongoing uncertainty over the fate of next year's Games, which were postponed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It will take place with or without COVID," Coates said.

"The Games will start on July 23rd next year.

"The Games were going to be, their theme, the 'Reconstruction Games' after the devastation of the tsunami.

"Now very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel."

The first of five meetings of a three-party council set-up to aid the organization of next year's Olympics and Paralympics was held on Friday September 4th in Tokyo.

The meetings will feature officials from the Japanese Government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, with the aim of producing "robust countermeasures" by the conclusion of the year.

Athletes, transportation and border control will be the focus of the next meeting later this month, with the Athletes' Village and competition venues due to be the focus of meetings in October.

Japan currently denies entry to people from 146 countries and regions as part of its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Those who are allowed to enter are asked to spend two weeks in quarantine.

It is expected that around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 nations and territories will compete at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Entry restrictions could be eased for the Games next year.

A mobile app that tracks the movements of athletes and other attendees of the Games could potentially be introduced, as well as measures regarding pre-Games training camps, rules for public transport and the necessity of an isolation period upon entry into Japan.

Spectators will be the focus of the final meeting in November.

Coates admitted there was a "massive task" facing Japanese organizers, but expressed confidence the host nation would be able to welcome athletes from across the world.
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