The organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Japanese government have finally agreed to a one-year postponement of the event because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers and the authorities in Tokyo had, up until the weekend been insisting the Games would go ahead as planned.
Canada and Australia had ramped up the pressure on Tokyo on Monday 23 March when they said they would not send their athletes to the Games in the summer due to the situation around COVID-19.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, bowed to the inevitable on 24 March and announced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had agreed to a delay.
“I proposed to postpone for about a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement,” the Prime Minister told reporters.
The 2020 Olympics due to run 24 July to 9 August will now, likely, be held in summer 2021. It is the first time the Games have been postponed, although they were not held during the Second World War.
Delaying the Games for a year is likely to present a whole host of fresh logistical problems.
As of 23 March Japan had recorded 37 deaths and 1,055 coronavirus cases.