Pound: due to Coronavirus Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021

The statement by the member of the International Olympic Committee comes after the withdrawal of Canada and Australia, and requests for postponement by the USA and Great Britain. 93% of American athletes don't want to compete. Beijing is waiting for an official communication. Japan is expected to lose 6 billion euros. Despite bad news, the Tokyo stock exchange soars.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Tokyo Olympics will be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus. Dick Pound, member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement issued today.

The decision follows Britain’s announcement that it intends to withdraw from the competition, as already decided yesterday by Canada and Australia - the event should theoretically begin on July 24th.

The United States has also asked to postpone the event. The US Olympic Committee notes that due to the ongoing epidemic, qualifications for the selection of participants cannot be carried out. A survey conducted on 1,780 American athletes reveals that 93% are in favor of a postponement.

China has not withdrawn its athletes for the time being. Beijing has made it clear that it will decide on the basis of official IOC communications.

Pound says the Olympic committee will make a decision shortly. Speaking yesterday in the National Parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed that it will be inevitable to postpone the Games if the conditions for their regular and complete performance cannot be guaranteed. He appeared open to a postponement, but on the condition that it is no later than the summer of 2021.

In Japan, the local organizing committee still hopes to save the event, to the point of proposing the transportation of the Olympic torch by car, rather than by torchbearers, in order to reduce the risk of contagion.

According to some analysts, the postponement will result in a loss of approximately 700 billion yen for the Japanese funds (almost 6 billion euro).

For the moment, the Tokyo stock exchange seems to be absorbing the bad news about the Olympics. The Japanese index closed with + 7.13%, driven by the US Federal Reserve’s pledge for a limitless assets purchase, by the announcement of an economic stimulus plan in Germany and by the recent purchases made by the Japanese Central Bank.