Organizers of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Wednesday sought to dispel confusion over whether the Games would proceed, after a member of the local organizing committee said he would recommend a postponement because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The chairman of the organizing committee, Yoshihiro Mori, held a news conference to reiterate the position of local organizers and the International Olympic Committee that the Games remain on track for late July.
“I think there is an impact,” he said. “But now, experts are discussing the response to it and the W.H.O. will present its basic thoughts soon. Unless there is any such proposal to change the plan, it is a matter of course for us, the organizing committee, to proceed with the games as planned.”
At his side was Haruyuki Takahashi, the member of the local committee who had caused a stir by telling The Wall Street Journal that a delay of one or two years would be the most prudent option if the Olympics could not go on as planned this July. He apologized for his comments.
The Japanese Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto, said in Parliament that it was “impossible” that the Games would be delayed.
But later in the day, adding to the confusion, Kyodo News released an interview with Mr. Takahashi in which he stated that he would propose a delay at the next committee meeting in April. Those comments were apparently made before his public apology.
Reporting was contributed by Elisabetta Povoledo, Steven Erlanger, Alissa J. Rubin, Andrew Kramer, Joanna Berendt, Marc Santora, Megan Specia, Iliana Magra, Elian Peltier, Jason Horowitz, Emma Bubola, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Jorge Arangure, Elaine Yu, Amy Qin, Alan Rappeport, Emily Cochrane, Sheri Fink, Mike Baker, Monika Pronczuk, Joanna Berendt, Benjamin Novak, Benjamin Mueller, Melissa Eddy, Roni Caryn Rabin, Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Andrew Keh.