Japan’s prime minister has insisted the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in July [File: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA]

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga began 2021 promising that the delayed Tokyo Olympics would go ahead in July, even as Japan contends with a surge in coronavirus cases and the rising cost of an event that is becoming increasingly unpopular with the public.

“The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held this summer,” Suga said in a written statement for the New Year, describing the event as a symbol of world unity. “We will make steady preparations to realise a safe and secure tournament.”

Japan and the International Olympic Committee decided last March to postpone the games by a year as the coronavirus pandemic sent much

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