Tokyo Olympics chief Seiko Hashimoto said Japan remains committed to hosting the Olympic Games starting on July 23. In the last week, the country experienced a surge in cases of covid-19 that led to an expansion of contagion controls and even saw new requests for the event to be postponed again or canceled by the population, health authorities and members of the government .
The government has expanded quasi-emergency measures to ten regions now that a fourth wave of infections is spreading, creating further doubts about the possibility of hosting the Olympics in the capital in less than 100 days.
"We are not thinking about canceling the Olympics," said Hashimoto, speaking on behalf of the organizing committee. "We will continue to do what we can to implement a thorough security regime that will make people feel completely safe," she added.
The government added Aichi, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba to the six regions already subject to contagion controls, including the cities of Tokyo and Osaka. Leading Japanese health experts recognized that the covid-19 pandemic has entered a fourth wave.
Daily cases reached a record 1,209 in Osaka last Friday, 16, driven by a strain of the virus first identified in the UK. On Thursday, 15, Tokyo registered 729 new infections, the highest number since the beginning of February, when much of the country was in a state of emergency.
Nearly two-thirds of Japanese said the Olympics should be postponed or canceled, according to a Jiji News poll released last week.