Japan Continues to Prepare for Olympics, PM Says

March 14, 2020 Updated: March 14, 2020
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Japan continues to prepare to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on March 14, despite widening concern about the viability of the Games given the global coronavirus outbreak.

Abe also told a news conference that he had not discussed a possible delay or cancellation of the Games, which are due to start in July, in a recent telephone call with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Japan’s coronavirus outbreak is not at a stage that requires the government to declare an emergency, Abe said.

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Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past an electric board showing Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo on March 13, 2020. (Philip Fong / AFP via Getty Images)

Abe, who made the comment at a news conference in Tokyo, also said that experts have concluded that Japan has not seen an explosive rise in coronavirus cases.

The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has risen to 1,423 as of Saturday, said public broadcaster NHK. The total of 1,423 infections includes 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 returnees on charter flights from China, according to NHK data.

Japan has now recorded 28 deaths from the virus, including seven from the cruise ship, NHK said.