Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told the United Nations General Assembly on Friday that Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympics next year.
The Games, which were supposed to get underway in July, are now scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021 after they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the summer of next year, Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic,” Suga said in a pre-recorded video message. “I will continue to spare no effort in order to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure.”
Tokyo 2020 organizers announced on Friday that they are proposing to cut the number of officials at next year's Olympics by 10 to 15% as part of a wider package of cost-reduction proposals. Over 50 measures to simplify the Games have been proposed by the IOC's coordination commission.
Suga also told the UN assembly he is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without any conditions to resolve outstanding issues such as the abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea and nuclear and missile issues.
“Establishing a constructive relationship between Japan and North Korea will not only serve the interests of both sides but will also greatly contribute to regional peace and stability,” he said.
In the video message, Suga also said Japan is offering up to $4.5 billion in Covid-19 emergency loans over the course of two years to bolster economic activities in developing countries.