March 2021 Set as Possible Deadline for Making Decision on Tokyo Olympics

March next year has been set as a possible deadline for making a decision on Tokyo Olympics, according to Japan's Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo. The Olympics is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

"March next year is a time when we face major questions on whether athletes can be selected," Endo was quoted as saying by Japanese broadcaster NHK on Friday. "We have to make a judgment in various ways depending on the situation then."

Earlier, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said on Thursday that discussions are underway to streamline the Olympics and Paralympics.

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"The people of Tokyo and Japan will need to show understanding for the Games to be held. To gain that support we are considering what needs to be streamlined and simplified," said Koike.

She also said the metropolitan government has already held meetings to discuss the matter.

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The Japanese Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday that organisers are considering taking several countermeasures, including mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, to make the Games safer to hold.

The opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics could also be scaled back, Yomiuri said.

The Olympics was originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020. It was postponed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.