After being postponed a year, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin in July, but one official said that the games could still be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toshihiro Nikai, who is the Liberal Democratic Party secretary-general, told the Associated Press that if there is another wave or a rise in new cases, the Olympics would likely need to be pushed back or altogether scrapped.
"If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled," Nikai said. "If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics."
Nikai said it is "important for Japan to have a successful Olympics" but acknowledged that they "have many issues to resolve and prepare" if they want the event to be a success.
Despite Nikai's cautious approach, the International Olympic Commission and International Paralympic Committee have both stated that they are committed to making the games happen as scheduled.
And while the pandemic is certainly not over, cases have managed to drop in many areas of the world due to the vaccine rollout. Unfortunately, cases have been rising in Japan, as the country was slow to begin distributing the vaccine, only beginning to do so in mid-February.