President Trump said on Monday that the US would follow the lead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe if he decides to delay the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the global coronavirus outbreak.
“We will be guided by the wishes of Prime Minister Abe of Japan, a great friend of the United States and a man who has done a magnificent job on the Olympic Venue, as to attending the Olympic Games in Japan,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He will make the proper decision!”
The president’s posting comes as Abe notified the Japanese Parliament that a delay is possible because it’s unlikely the games could be fully held as countries warn they will not allow their athletes to compete because of the coronavirus.
“If it’s difficult to proceed in its complete form, then we must think about the athletes first and consider postponing,” Abe said Monday.
At the same time, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said a final decision wouldn’t be made until a month from now.
Tokyo Governor Yuko Koike reiterated Abe’s comments.
“The [International Olympic Committee] will fully examine what to do over the next four weeks, and in that process that word (postponement) may be included,” she said.
The IOC on Sunday said it was considering postponing the games as Canada and Australia joined a number of other Olympic nations to say they would not attend if the contests go on as planned.
“I know that this unprecedented situation leaves many of your questions open,” IOC President Thomas Bach wrote in a letter to athletes. “I also know that this rational approach may not be in line with the emotions many of you have to go through.”
The games were scheduled to begin on July 24.
There are more than 340,000 coronavirus cases around the world.
With Post wires
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