Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike assures safe 2020 OlympicsLast updated on Jun 13, 2020, 03:14 pm
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has said next year's Olympics will be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She has pledged a "120% effort" to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead.
Koike said the city was committed to holding the event as a "symbol of human triumph" over the virus, but admitted it would be downsized.
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I will make a 120-percent effort, says Koike
"I will make a 120-percent effort," Koike said in an interview with AFP.
However, she declined to say how confident she was that the sporting extravaganza would open as planned.
Tokyo 2020 became the first Olympics ever postponed in peacetime earlier this year as the coronavirus wrecked havoc across the globe, claiming lives and forcing the cancelation of sporting and cultural events.
Tokyo Games would be canceled if not held in 2021
The Olympics will begin on July 23, 2021 - though they will still be known as the 2020 Games.
Medical experts have raised concerns that the delay will not be long enough to contain the virus and hold the global event safely.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games will be canceled if it cannot take place next summer.
'Uncertainties' surround Tokyo Olympics next year
Recently, Koike told CNN that more work is left and organizers were contending with a number of uncertainties.
"The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are an important event that everyone has been waiting for," Koike said.
"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."
Japan has dealt with coronavirus wave better than many countries.
According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), there have been 17,039 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan and 917 deaths.
Public awareness campaigns on social distancing have worked.
Meanwhile, Tokyo has weathered the virus well, recording 5,347 confirmed cases and 307 deaths.
"That is all thanks to cooperation by the people of Tokyo," said Koike.
COVID-19: Koike lauds Tokyo residents for their efforts
"Tokyo residents know that the summer Games next year in 2021 is not possible unless the impact of coronavirus calms down," Koike said.
"That was among the things that pushed them to make these efforts."
Koike said improving the testing facilities will be crucial.
"We have to identify the specifics of the virus, develop the curing medicine, improve the testing facilities," said Koike.