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Organisers urged to decide Olympics' fate after mulling impact

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Tokyo, May 21 (IANS) Japan’s top coronavirus adviser on Friday called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organisers to decide whether to stage the Tokyo Olympics after studying how the Games could burden the country’s medical systems.

The IOC and the Tokyo Olympics organising committee “certainly have a responsibility” for making the decision, Shigeru Omi, who chairs the government’s coronavirus advisory panel, told a low house committee meeting, DPA reports.

“The decision cannot be made at the last minute,” Omi stressed.

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Tokyo Olympics organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto has said they have already decided to hold the Games between July 23 and August 8.

The IOC and local organisers are pressing ahead with the Games despite rock-solid opposition in Japan amid the pandemic.

Japan on Friday added the southern prefecture of Okinawa to the current coronavirus state of emergency, which brought the total number of regions under the measure to 10, including Tokyo.

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Japan reported 5,253 new cases, including 649 in Tokyo, on Friday, according to a tally by broadcaster NHK. Japan has so far confirmed more than 711,000 infections and about 12,100 Covid-19-related deaths, by far the worst in East Asia, NHK said.

–IANS

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