Q&A: Will WHO’s ‘pandemic’ ruling impact the Tokyo Olympics?


Two people wear masks as they visit the newly opened Japan Olympic Museum located near the New National Stadium, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) – Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike acknowledges that the World Health Organization’s declaration that the coronavirus is a pandemic could impact the Tokyo Olympics.

But she says “I believe cancellation is impossible.”

Japanese organizers and the International Olympic Committee say the games will open as planned on July 24.

But the reality is that any decision to cancel or proceed rests ultimately with the Switzerland-based IOC.

The contract with Japanese authorities gives the IOC leverage to terminate the Olympics for many reasons.

One clause in the contract says it can terminate if the “safety of participants in the games would be seriously threatened or jeopardized for any reason whatsoever.”

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