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Head of Japan’s Medical Association Issues New Concern About Postponed Tokyo Olympics 

A bronze statue of Pierre de Coubertin (L), founder of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Rings are displayed at Japan Sport Olympic Square in Tokyo on April 20, 2020. - A Japanese expert who has criticised the country's response to…

Yokokura did not say whether the Tokyo Olympic Games should be canceled if a vaccine is not developed.

The head of Japan’s medical association says it will be difficult for Tokyo to restage the Summer Olympics next year without an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

Yohsitake Yokokura offered his opinion Tuesday during a videoconference with journalists in Tokyo.

Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed back in March to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games, which were scheduled to start on July 24, for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Laboratories around the world are working on vaccines to guard against COVID-19, but experts say it could take months or even years to determine if any vaccine is safe and effective before they can be used.

Yokokura did not say whether the Tokyo Olympic Games should be cancelled if a vaccine is not developed.

A Japanese infectious disease expert said last week he does not think it is likely the Tokyo Olympic games will be held next year because of what he foresees as the lingering threat of the coronavirus.

In a teleconference interview at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Kobe University Infectious Diseases Professor Kentaro Iwata said because the Olympics involve bringing in athletes and spectators from all over the world, the risk would be high that the COVID-19 outbreak could restart.