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Weeks of anguish and a 'black box': Inside Tokyo's decision to delay the Olympics
|Last Edited||IndyGeorgia Mar 26, 2020 10:31pm|
|Author||Yoshifumi Takemoto and Karolos Grohmann|
|News Date||Friday, March 27, 2020 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0|
|Description||TOKYO/LAUSANNE (Reuters) - Officials in charge of staging Tokyo’s Olympic Games crowded around a low table inside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s residence late Tuesday, wincing as they spoke by phone with the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). |
Minutes later, Abe emerged to inform a gaggle of reporters that he had just spoken with Thomas Bach, the IOC’s president, and that they had agreed to officially delay the Tokyo Olympics.
The evening call between Abe and Bach concluded days and weeks of negotiations between Tokyo and Lausanne, where the IOC is based, and came after repeated public denials by Japanese officials that a pandemic might derail the Games.
Through interviews with more than a dozen people involved in the process over recent weeks, Reuters has pieced together an account of the frenetic days that led to Tuesday’s announcement.
It was an extraordinary turnaround for an Olympics that was expected to be held without major issues by a country known for public safety and economic stability. It also revealed a fatal miscalculation by Japanese and IOC officials of public sentiment at a time of heightened fears over the coronavirus.
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