Tokyo governor Koike says beating coronavirus essential for safe Olympics

FILE PHOTO - Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike speaks during the 'One Year to Go' ceremony celebrating one year out from the start of the summer games at Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo, Japan July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday that beating the coronavirus is essential to host a safe and secure Tokyo Olympics, but that it was still too early to discuss the timing of a decision on whether the Games should go ahead as scheduled.

The breadth and scale of the spreading coronavirus around the world have forced the cancellation of numerous sporting events, raising concerns about whether the Olympics will be able to open on July 24 as planned.

Koike said that she’s currently not thinking about cancelling the Olympics or holding them without spectators, two options that have been raised, and added that she’s in close contact with the International Olympic Committee and central government about the situation.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Shri Navaratnam