The Japanese government “privately” came to the conclusion that the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, must be canceled altogether, the Times reported, citing sources within the ruling coalition.

Japan’s deputy head of cabinet Manabu Sakai told Reuters on Thursday that there is “no truth” to report on the possible cancellation, while Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was “determined” to work closely with Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee on the event postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier on Friday, the Times reported, citing coalition sources, that officials had already agreed to cancel the event altogether and were looking for a “face-saving” way to announce it, while leaving open the possibility of Tokyo hosting the event Olympics in 2032, next available slot or later.

“Nobody wants to be the first to say this, but the consensus is that it’s too difficult,” an anonymous source told the Times. “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

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While both the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government have publicly claimed that the Games will take place in July and August as planned, the paper claimed that a “global winter wave” of coronavirus infections forced them to re-examine.

“We will take comprehensive measures to control infection and continue with the preparation and determination to reach the Games that can bring hope and courage to the world,” Prime Minister Suga told the Japanese parliament this week, despite recent polls that show that around 80 percent of Japanese citizens prefer to postpone the games.

Japan has spent at least $ 25 billion preparing for the Olympics, 75 percent of which came from the taxpayer’s wallet. With the 2024 Games in Paris and the 2028 event in Los Angeles, the Times speculated that Tokyo hopes to get the 2032 Games “out of sympathy”.

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