KOFU -- The governor of Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, told a news conference on April 19 that Japan could not afford holding the Olympics this summer "if the state of coronavirus infections was so grave that it would greatly affect people's health."
Gov. Kotaro Nagasaki's comment came in response to a question regarding the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai's earlier remarks that canceling the games was an option.
Nagasaki belonged to Nikai's faction when he served as a member of the House of Representatives. Asked about Nikai's comment, the governor told reporters, "It was a very normal thing to say. Holding the Olympics when the virus is spreading rather runs counter to common sense."
At the same time, Gov. Nagasaki also said of Tokyo and neighboring prefectures where coronavirus quasi-emergency measures are in place, "As we're all doing our best (to prevent the further spread of infections), I hope they produce some good results so that the Olympics can go ahead safely."
(Japanese original by Keisuke Umeda, Kofu Bureau)