Tokyo head: Olympics not possible under current conditions

FILE - In this July 17, 2020, file photo, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori speaks during a press conference in Tokyo.  Mori says the delayed games could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue as they are. In an interview aired Wednesday, July 22, with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Mori said he was hopeful the situation would improve and suggested a vaccine was the key.(Kyodo News via AP, File)/Kyodo News via AP)
FILE - In this July 17, 2020, file photo, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori speaks during a press conference in Tokyo. Mori says the delayed games could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue as they are. In an interview aired Wednesday, July 22, with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Mori said he was hopeful the situation would improve and suggested a vaccine was the key.(Kyodo News via AP, File)/Kyodo News via AP) (Kyodo News)

TOKYO – The delayed Tokyo Olympics could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue as they are, the president of the organizing committee said Wednesday.

In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Yoshiro Mori said he was hopeful the situation would improve and suggested a vaccine was the key.

“If this kind of situation (with COVID-19) continues, is it possible to hold the games?” Mori was asked by NHK.

“If current situation continues, we couldn’t,” Mori replied, speaking in Japanese.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021 — a year from Thursday. A small, 15-minute ceremony without fans is scheduled for Thursday at the new national stadium to mark the date.

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers have repeatedly expressed confidence the games will take place, though they have offered few details on how they can happen in the middle of a pandemic.

The IOC and organizers have also said the Olympics will not be postponed again and would be canceled.

“It would be too much for us to answer each of these hypothetical questions,” Mori said. "I don’t think this situation will last for another year.”