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The Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, assured this Monday that his country remains committed to holding the Olympic Games scheduled for next July, despite going through its third and worst wave of COVID-19, which especially affects Tokyo.
“We are going to prepare the Olympic Games as proof that humanity has overcome the new coronavirus“Suga said during a speech on the occasion of today’s opening of the ordinary session of the Japanese parliament, the Diet, in the new year.
“We will carry out preparations with the determination to take all possible measures against infection and hold a competition that brings hope and courage to everyone, “added the president.
Suga’s statements on the Games are in line with the position held by the country so far and they come at a time of renewed concern for the future of the Olympic event six months after its celebration, scheduled for July 23, after a series of comments at the national and international level that have generated uncertainty.
On the eve, the spokesman for the Japanese Executive, Katsunobu Kato, insisted on a television program that preparations are continuing, with the selection of places and times made and the staff working on the adoption of anti-COVID measures, according to statements collected by the local Kyodo news agency.
Kato’s words came after several international media cited an interview in a virtual forum of the minister in charge of administrative and regulatory reform, Taro Kono, in which he said that the future of the Games could go “in any direction”. They were the first comments from a member of Suga’s Cabinet that questioned the quote.
In his speech today, eThe Japanese Prime Minister advocated bringing COVID under control “as soon as possible” with the measures being implemented under the current state of emergency which affects eleven provinces of the archipelago, and promised to be “in the front line of this battle” against the virus.
The 72-year-old president reiterated his government’s intention to begin vaccination against the disease at the earliest at the end of February, after the relevant processes for approval in the country, and He stated that he himself will wear it to “serve as an example” and clearing skepticism among the population.
Japan has experienced a worrying increase in COVID cases since November that prompted the government to testify since January 8 a second state of emergency that currently affects 11 of the 47 prefectures of the country, in which more than half of its population is concentrated and around 80% of the contagions recorded.
About 40% of the 328,294 cases and 4,501 deaths linked to the pathogen (excluding those of the Diamond Princess cruise) have been posted in the last month.
In Tokyo alone, local authorities reported 1,204 more positives today, the second highest figure released on Monday.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.