The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be overseen by a Joint Steering Committee launched on Thursday (16 April) that will present a new roadmap for the Games next month.
Following an Executive Project Review held by teleconference, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee announced that the Joint Steering Committee will meet as frequently as necessary to ensure a smooth transition for the Games to the summer of 2021 from 23 July-8 August.
The Steering Committee will be led by Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro and IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates, who will be joined Tokyo 2020 CEO Muto Toshiro and Christophe Dubi, the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director.
They will help align the two Task Forces on the IOC and Tokyo 2020 sides - named "Here We Go" and the "New Launch", respectively. The details of planning for Tokyo 2020 in 2021 are being studied this month with the aim of establishing a new roadmap for the Games by May, in order to then align resources and priorities.
Tokyo 2020 as beacon of hope
"Since the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to 2021 was agreed a few weeks ago, the strong spirit of collaboration between the IOC, the IPC, the Olympic Movement, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese authorities has already allowed us to bring some clarity and certainty to athletes, fans and stakeholders around the world", Coates said in a joint statement by the IOC and Tokyo 2020. "The principles outlined today will allow us to continue in this spirit, and to answer the many questions that remain, in as efficient a manner as possible."
"We believe that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times. The Joint Steering Committee will give its all to ensure that this is the case”.
Added Mori, "We believe that today's new step is an important achievement in advancing over the coming year what we have prepared over the past five to six years. We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the Games”.
The key elements of the Games Delivery Plan that was in place for 2020 - such as the 43 venues and the competition schedule - are expected to be retained for 2021.
Measures to address the potential impact of the coronavirus are also set to be written into the new plan.
Coates said during a press conference following the project review that next year's Games could help reboot what is expected to be a badly depressed economy in 2021.
"Next year in 2021, if Japan is anywhere like the rest of the world, there will be an economic downturn - a recession maybe", he said. "These Games are a very positive opportunity for an economic stimulus. These Games can help kick-start the economy again".