Japan PM Abe says IOC agrees ‘100%’ on postponement of Olympics

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A visitor wearing a face mask stands near the Olympic rings at Tokyo’s Odaiba district Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Tokyo Olympics are probably going to happen, but almost surely in 2021 rather than in four months as planned. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

Abe said after his telephone talks with Bach that he requested a postponement “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform at their best and crowds can be safe and secure.

He added that he hoped to reschedule the Olympics as a proof of human victory over the coronavirus pandemic.

Abe held telephone talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

Abe said he expects the pandemic to be over by next year and the Olympics can be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest.

MORE | Read a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee here.

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