Holding Olympics amid Pandemic "Not Normal": Expert


Tokyo, June 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese public health expert Shigeru Omi said Wednesday that it is "not normal" to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the current novel coronavirus crisis.

"It is not normal to hold (the events) under the current situation, amid this pandemic," Omi, who heads the government's COVID-19 task force, told a meeting of the Health, Labor and Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament.

"It is the organizers' duty to downsize the Tokyo Games to the minimum possible level and strengthen the system to run the events if the games go ahead under the current situation," said Omi, also head of the government-affiliated Japan Community Health Care Organization.

Omi also said, "The purpose of holding the Olympics and Paralympics under a situation like this has not been made clear."

"It's extremely important for people concerned to explain the vision and reason, and without that, the general public will not cooperate with measures" against the coronavirus, he said, calling on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to give full-fledged explanations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press