Japanese PM and IOC chief agree to postpone 2020 Olympics

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TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone the Olympics by about one year.

Abe put the suggestion to Bach, who agreed that the latest date the Olympics will be held is summer 2021.

The IOC has been facing mounting pressure to delay the Games, which were originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Olympics have never been rescheduled in peacetime. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were canceled because of world wars.

On March 17, Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said the country was planning for a “complete” hosting of the Games, which she went on to explain meant an Olympics which “started on time and with spectators in attendance.”

Then late last week, the IOC said that it was considering a number of different options including a postponement or modifying the Games so they could still take place as scheduled in July.

There has been growing opposition to hosting the Games as planned as countries attempt to spread the limit of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 381,000 people globally.

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