The Summer Olympics were supposed to be held in Tokyo this summer, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the games at least a year. Japanese Games Minister Seiko Hashimoto voiced a sense of urgency about the Olympics happening next year, saying that they should not be postponed again "at any cost."
"All the people involved with the games are working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts toward next year under the circumstances they've been handed," Hashimoto told reporters during a press conference, per Kyodo News. "I think we have to hold the games at any cost. I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus."
Whether or not that's a realistic goal remains to be seen. While some parts of the world have essentially managed to put the pandemic behind them, other countries, like the United States, are still very much trying to get things under control. Japan itself seemed to have flattened the curve successfully after declaring a state of emergency in late May, but the country has seen numbers bounce back up again in the past month.
Hashimoto's sentiments were shared by International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates, who said that the Olympic Games "will take place with or without COVID."
The Summer Olympics are currently slated to begin on July 23, 2021. If they are not postponed and the pandemic is still happening, the IOC will have quite a task ahead of itself planning a global event in these circumstances.