The president of Tokyo 2020 Seiko Hashimoto has insisted the Olympic Games will ‘100 per cent’ be going ahead despite calls from the public for them to be cancelled.
Japan is currently in the midst of a fourth coronavirus wave, with 10 areas of the country including the capital under a state of emergency until later this month.
Public opinion polls have constantly shown citizens in favour of a cancellation, and people have even taken to the streets to demonstrate their disapproval and anger at current plans for the Games to go ahead.
But committee president Hashimoto insists at worst the Games – which could attract up to 90,000 athletes, coaches, media and officials from overseas – will take place behind closed doors.
“I believe that the possibility of these Games going on is 100 per cent that we will do this,” she told BBC Sport just 50 days before the start of the opening ceremony.
“The question right now is how are we going to have an even more safe and secure Games.
“The Japanese people are feeling very insecure and at the same time probably feel some frustration at us talking about the Olympics and I think that is giving rise to more voices opposing having the Games in Tokyo.
“The biggest challenge will be how we can control and manage the flow of people. If an outbreak should happen during the Games times that amounts to a crisis or an emergency situation then I believe we must be prepared to have these Games without any spectators.”
No international fans will be allowed to attend this summer’s Olympics or Paralympics due to coronavirus measures, a decision Hashimoto described as ‘very painful.’
But it came amid a new wave of infections in Japan at the start of April, with some of the areas in a state of emergency, facing restrictions until 20 June.
The country only began vaccinating its population in February, which is later than most other developed nations.
And as a result it is estimated that only about three per cent of people have received both doses of the vaccine.