- The Washington Times
Friday, April 16, 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he is committed to holding the Summer Olympics Games this summer “as a symbol of global unity this summer.”

“President Biden once again expressed his support,” Mr. Suga said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.


Japan is under pressure to hold a safe Summer Games from July 23 to Aug. 8 after it had to postpone the event by a year. Some health experts say the Asian nation has failed to corral the virus and suffers from a low vaccination rate after starting later than most developed nations.

Mr. Suga has said Japan will do “everything possible” to prevent transmission at the games and has rejected calls to cancel the games. Fans from other countries are banned, and it is unclear if any fans will be allowed, period.

A major Japanese political leader, Toshihiro Nikai, raised the possibility of a cancelation only to walk it back.

Also Friday, Mr. Biden said both leaders are committed to reforming the World Health Organization, providing equitable access to vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region and partnering on health security to prepare for another pandemic.

“Because there will be others,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Suga is the first foreign leader to visit Mr. Biden in person at the White House instead of virtually.

“There’s no substitute for face-to-face discussion,” Mr. Biden said. “We’re still taking COVID precautions, being careful.”


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