Abe says IOC agrees ‘100%’ that Olympics should be postponed

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A man walks past a large banner promoting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Monday, March 23, 2020. The IOC will take up to four weeks to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics amid mounting criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis that now includes Canada saying it won’t send a team to the games this year and the leader of track and field, the biggest sport at the games, also calling for a delay. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

Abe said after his telephone talks with Bach that he requested a postponement “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform at their best and crowds can be safe and secure.

He added that he hoped to reschedule the Olympics as a proof of human victory over the coronavirus pandemic.

Abe held telephone talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

Abe said he expects the pandemic to be over by next year and the Olympics can be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest.

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