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Olympics: Mori, PM Abe discuss daylight saving for Tokyo Games

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, speaks during a national governors' meeting in Sapporo, on July 27, 2018. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- President of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee Yoshiro Mori met Friday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the possibility of introducing daylight saving time during the 2020 Games as a countermeasure for extreme summer temperatures.

The discussion followed a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow the marathon to be staged at 7 a.m. to lessen the likelihood of runners competing with the mercury as high as 40 C during Tokyo's sweltering and humid summer.

Mori told reporters after the meeting that the prime minister said putting clocks forward one or two hours during the Games "may be one solution."

The steps are in ironic contrast to the description of Tokyo's weather in the Tokyo 2020 bid committee's candidature file, which under the heading of "Ideal dates" described the period from July 25 to Aug. 9 as having "many days of mild and sunny weather" and that "this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best."

Toshiro Muto, the organizing committee's CEO, was present at the meeting and said such kind of heat had not entered into the Olympic planning.

"We were working under the premise that temperatures wouldn't exceed 40 C. We've now recognized how serious this is," said Muto, who had not sought the emergency measures to be extended beyond 2020.

"If this should spur us on to create a society with lower carbon emissions, then that would become an important legacy of the event," he said.

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