The Summer Games will be held July 23, 2021 to Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will run Aug. 24, 2021 to Sept. 5, 2021.
The decision was taken during a telephone conference call between IOC president Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko. Japanese Prime Minister, was not on the call, but has repeatedly stressed the need for the games to go ahead in a complete form no later than summer 2021.
They said that the decision was taken in a fashion intended to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the Covid-19 virus; to safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport; and the global international sports calendar.
Excluding those cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, Japan has 1,884 confirmed instances of coronavirus, of which 1,408 remain active. It has recorded 52 deaths from the disease.
“These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the organizers said in a statement.
“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020, also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the (international federations). Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”
While the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting travel restrictions have wreaked havoc on many sports’ qualifying events, some athletes have already qualified. They will not have to requalify for Tokyo 2021. “It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged. This is a result of the fact that these Olympic Games Tokyo , in agreement with Japan, will remain the Games of the XXXII Olympiad,” the IOC explained.
Postponement is expected to hurt the Japanese economy in 2020. Finance firm, SMBC Nikko Securities said that cancellation would reduce Japan’s GDP this year by 1.4%. It forecast that the games will create JPY670 billion ($6.4 billion) in consumer demand and that canceling it will dent the overall economy by about JPY7.8 trillion ($74 billion).
At the end of 2019, organizers estimated the total cost of the 2020 Tokyo Games to be around JPY1.35 trillion ($12.6 billion). That cost is shared between the city of Tokyo, which is paying JPY597 billion ($5.69 billion), the Japanese organizing committee, which is paying JPY603 billion ($5.74 billion) and the Japan’s central government, which is paying JPY150 billion ($1.42 billion).