Biden reaffirms support for Tokyo Olympics to Japan’s Suga

White House says Biden met Suga at the sidelines of the G7 summit and affirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving forward.

European Council President Charles Michel, US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and pose for a family photo during the G7 summit June 11, 2021 [Kevin Lamarque/Pool via Reuters]

US President Joe Biden has reaffirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympics at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, highlighting the necessity of imposing public health measures ensuring the safety of those involved.

At a meeting with Suga on Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in the British seaside resort of Carbis Bay, Biden also raised a range of other issues including COVID-19, North Korea, China and climate change, the White House said in a statement.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which were postponed last year due to the global spread of the coronavirus, are scheduled to start on July 23, in the face of opposition from most of the public, many Japanese companies and medical staff.

“President Biden affirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving forward with all public health measures necessary to protect athletes, staff and spectators,” the White House statement said.

“President Biden expressed pride in the US athletes who have trained for the Tokyo Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit,” it said.

The comments echoed a similar statement made in April during Suga’s visit to Washington, DC.

Even as Tokyo has battled a fourth wave of infections and is under a state of emergency, the Japanese government and the organisers have said they will go ahead – barring “Armageddon”, as one International Olympic Committee (IOC) member put it.

Seiko Hashimoto, the organising committee president, said on Friday Tokyo 2020 would be “grateful” if G7 countries could support the Summer Games going ahead as planned.

Source: Reuters