The rearranged Tokyo Games must be held "at any cost" in 2021, Japan's Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Tuesday.
Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto speaks to reporters in Tokyo, March 24, 2020. /VCG
Speaking at a news conference, Hashimoto said the Games should be held for the benefit of the athletes, regardless of the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It echoed International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates' remarks a day earlier.
"Everyone involved with the Games is working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts towards next year," Hashimoto said.
"I think we have to hold the Games at any cost," she added. "I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus."
Giant Olympic rings at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2020. /VCG
The Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee took the unprecedented decision in March to postpone the Games because of the virus, originally scheduled to begin in July, until 2021.
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya on Tuesday also said that things were moving in the right direction, and organizers were encouraged that sports events were being held successfully around the world in recent months.
"This has been a big, big encouragement for the staff members of Tokyo 2020," said Takaya.
"We feel that is another step towards ... where we can see sports in action in our society."
He also added there was the possibility of more fans being allowed into stadiums for Japanese baseball and soccer games.
Earlier, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said organizers were preparing to host the Games next year even if the global coronavirus pandemic hasn't eased substantially.
Officials from the Japanese government, local Tokyo government and the Olympics organizing committee met for the first time last week to develop steps to counter the coronavirus at the Games.