Japan has asked for one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics over the new coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
Abe on Tuesday had a crunch talk on phone with Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympics Committee.
‘We asked president Bach to consider postponement of about one year to make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and to make the event a safe and secure one for spectators.
‘President Bach said he is in agreement 100 percent,’ Abe said.
International Olympic Committee chiefs had hoped the Games could go ahead as planned on July 24.
The Olympic flame last week travelled from Greece to Japan, in preparation.
While most major sporting events around the globe were suspended or postponed, Olympics bosses dilly-dallied over making a decision.
Their position was hinged on Japan appearing to have largely got the virus under control domestically.
But both the IOC and the Japanese government came under fire for that stance.
Canada and Australia announced they would not compete unless it was postponed.
The world now waits for IOC to make a formal announcement postponing the games.
It would be the first time in 124 years of modern Olympics.