Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike shows a manhole cover bearing Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics logos during a press conference in Tokyo, December 13, 2019. /VCG
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Monday that the Olympics must go ahead next year as a symbol of world unity in overcoming the novel coronavirus, even though Tokyo has seen steady spikes in cases.
The 2020 Olympics were scheduled to start this month but were postponed by a year because of the coronavirus.
Koike has pledged to win public support for the Games, although a media survey showed a majority think they should be canceled or postponed again.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto (L) and Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori attend a press conference to discuss about simplifying the Games in Tokyo, June 10, 2020. /VCG
"I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and strengthen the bonds among humankind," Koike told Reuters in an online interview.
She declined to specify a deadline for deciding if the Games could go ahead.
Last week, a wide-ranging survey conducted by the Japan News Network (JNN) found that 77 percent of respondents said that the Tokyo Olympics "cannot be held" next year, without giving a reason.
Just 17 percent said they thought it "can be held" next year.
Organizers have battled against an array of problems stemming from the postponement, including rising costs, athlete safety, and securing the venues.
Organizers have previously said they will look to "simplify" the Games to lower costs and reduce risks related to COVID-19.
(With input from agencies)
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