© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The man is seen through the Olympic rings in Tokyo
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government continues preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer as planned, following a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Wednesday. Japan has repeatedly insisted that it hold the Games despite opinion polls showing that the majority of respondents want them to be postponed again or canceled. “Right now we are working as one with everyone involved in organizing the Games to organize them successfully,” Kato said at a regular press conference. The comments come as local media reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and American philanthropist Bill Gates had spoken out about the Olympics on Tuesday in a call arranged by Suntory Holdings Ltd CEO Takeshi Niinami. Suga told Gates that the Games were “very important” and would “definitely” go ahead, the Kyodo news agency quoted Niinami as saying. But Kato said that Suga didn’t make that comment to Gates. “I have checked and as far as I know that expression was not used,” Kato said. Japan is dealing with a third wave of the coronavirus, with infections hovering around a record. The Olympics were originally supposed to take place in 2020.