Japan PM determined to have Olympics in July

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he is determined to host the postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer, despite growing uncertainty as coronavirus cases rise at home.

Suga, speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, says the Olympics would be a symbol of human victory over the pandemic. He pledged to get infections under control in Japan as soon as possible and achieve a “safe and secure” Olympics.

Olympic officials have repeatedly said the games will be held in July as planned after a one-year postponement, though various scenarios including the holding of events without spectators are being considered.

Suga has been criticised for delaying virus measures until daily cases surged to new highs in late December. He eventually declared a partial state of emergency in early January, issuing non-binding requests through Feb. 7 for people to avoid crowds or eating out in groups and for restaurants and bars to close early.

New coronavirus cases in Tokyo have dipped but experts say they haven’t slowed enough, indicating the emergency measures could be extended for several more weeks.