Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Tuesday that Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have agreed to postpone the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games by one year.
Abe made the announcement in Tokyo after a teleconference with IOC chief Thomas Bach, putting an end to two months speculation of the future of the Games since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister said that during the phone talk, Bach “100 percent agrees with” his proposal to postpone the Olympic Games, which will enable the athletes to play in the best condition, and make the event safe and secure for spectators.
The IOC said later in a statement that the meeting was “very friendly and constructive” and the two leaders expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the IOC statement, the Tokyo Olympics must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.
The two sides agreed that the Olympic flame would stay in Japan.
It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.