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'Uncertainties' surround next year's Olympics, says Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike

In an interview with CNN's Will Ripley, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the Tokyo Olympic Games could signify a victory over the pandemic but admitted that organizers were contending with many uncertainties.

Posted: Jun 8, 2020 6:31 PM
Updated: Jun 8, 2020 6:31 PM

The fate of next year's Olympics depends on Japan's handling of the coronavirus, according to the governor of Tokyo.

Yuriko Koike said the Games could signify a "victory" over the pandemic, adding that more work is still to be done to improve treatment and testing, but admitted that organizers were contending with a number of uncertainties.

The Olympics were originally scheduled to begin in July, but the start date has been moved to July 24 next year amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

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"The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are an important event that everyone has been waiting for," Koike told CNN's Will Ripley.

"The postponement cost a lot and, more than anything, we do not know what the coronavirus situation will be like in July next year. We have a few uncertainties here.

"It costs a lot to begin with, we need understanding from the people of Tokyo for it. We must not spend too much. We have to make the Games safe for athletes and spectators."

Organizers said in December that the cost of hosting the Olympics was some 1.35 trillion yen ($12.35 billion), while sponsors, insurers and broadcasters have also committed billions to the Games.

READ: In lockdown, Olympian Missy Franklin is leaning into lessons from therapy

'Clear goal to win'

There have been 17,039 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan and 917 deaths, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Since the postponement of the Olympics was announced, officials have said there is no plan to delay the Games again.

"We have to identify the specifics of the virus, develop the curing medicine, improve the testing facilities," said Koike.

"But we cannot afford to let the battle against the coronavirus last for 10 or 20 years. The global community must have a clear goal to win over the coronavirus and compete for solutions by making a safe society and sharing successful examples (of battling the virus).

"I wish the success of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as (a sign) of humanity's victory over the coronavirus."

READ: Skateboarder, 11, hospitalized after horrific fall

Despite its high population density, Tokyo has weathered the virus well, recording 5,347 confirmed cases and 307 deaths, according to JHU.

"That is all thanks to cooperation by the people of Tokyo," said Koike.

"Wearing masks has become an ordinary custom for the Japanese since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 ... The sense of hygiene of the Japanese people was superb and that helped to suppress the number of deaths compared to western countries."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
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Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
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Greene126833
Walthall123540
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Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
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Jefferson Davis100531
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Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
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Houston10048259
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Walker6504251
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Autauga620389
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Coffee5230102
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Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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