Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has told Donald Trump the country is preparing to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games as planned after the United States President suggested postponing the event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Abe reiterated his stance that Japan is planning to stage the event as scheduled during telephone talks requested by Trump to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak.
Concerns over the spread of the virus, which has so far killed 5,080 people and infected more than 138,000 worldwide, have fuelled rumours Tokyo 2020 could be postponed or cancelled.
But officials in Japan and from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have repeatedly insisted the Olympic Games, due to open on July 24, will go ahead as scheduled.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori earlier this week quickly quashed speculation the event might be postponed after an Executive Board member claimed the Games could be delayed by one or two years.
Trump said "I would say maybe they postpone it for a year" when asked about his views on the impact of the virus on the Games.
"I like that better than having empty stadiums all over the place," Trump said.