Japan PM: won G7 unanimous support for holding Olympics this summer

Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga addresses a news conference on the COVID-19 situation, in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday Group of Seven leaders gave unanimous support for his bid to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer, as the country struggles to contain the coronavirus and to inoculate its citizens swiftly.

“I told the meeting that I want to realise a safe and secure Olympics as testimony that human beings will have won the battle with the coronavirus,” Suga told reporters following a virtual G7 summit meeting held on Friday.

“I was able to gain support from all the leaders. It was so encouraging.”

The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled for 2020, but were postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan kicked off its inoculation drive against the virus on Wednesday, becoming the last member of G7 countries to do so.

More than half of Japanese firms believe the July 23-Aug. 8 Games should be cancelled or postponed again, a survey by think tank Tokyo Shoko Research showed this week, underscoring doubts over the viability of the premier sporting event.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Alison Williams and Clare Fallon)

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