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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Tokyo: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Monday met Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. He met Tokyo Governor who stated that Japan is "strongly determined" to stage "safe and secure" Olympic Games next year. Bach is on a four-day visit to Japan and arrived in the Japanese capital on Sunday to review the preparations for the postponed Olympic Games with top Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

"Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike meets President Bach: We are strongly determined, together with the IOC, to stage safe and secure Olympic Games. We will not only achieve cost reductions but leave a new model for future generations of how the Games can be organised," IOC Media tweeted on Monday.

Later, IOC Media tweeted IOC President Bach's message. He was quoted saying, "We have made this visit to demonstrate here in Tokyo our full commitment and determination to celebrate in nine months’ time, starting on 23 July 2021, successful Olympic Games Tokyo2020."

"We will undertake every effort so that as many participants as possible accept a vaccine for Tokyo2020. This is the first endeavour. It is not about making it obligatory or a requirement. We want to convince as many foreign participants as possible," the next message read.

Earlier in the day, Bach also awarded the Olympic Order to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Japan Olympic Museum.

"Former Japanese PM, Abe Shinzo, receiving the Olympic Movement's highest award, the Olympic Order in gold. Abe helped win the Games for Tokyo in 2013. He later made a surprise appearance at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, dressed as Super Mario," IOC Media tweeted.

The IOC chief is scheduled to visit the Olympic village and the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, as per Tokyo 2020 organisers.

The Olympics are set to be held from July 23 to August 8 next year after being postponed from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but leading health experts have, over the past few months, expressed doubts on whether the Games can be held without a vaccine for the virus.

(Nitesh Kumar Sahoo With IANS Inputs)

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