U.S. President Donald Trump says he supports a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese government said at a news conference on Wednesday that Trump expressed his support a phone call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trump and Abe agreed to closely coordinate with each other to hold the Games in their “complete form” next year, and said it would sybmolise human beings overcoming the coronavirus, Tokyo said.
Trump had previously suggested that the Games be postponed for a year.
“President Trump repeatedly said the postponement was a very wise and great decision and he expressed support for the prime minister’s stance,’’ government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told the news conference.
Trump’s comment came a day after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Abe agreed to delay the Olympics.
The two “concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said.
The IOC and Japan had previously insisted the Olympics would go ahead as scheduled, but came under growing pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world.
Canada and Australia had already said they would not send athletes to the Games.