Tokyo, April 16 (IANS) The postponed Tokyo Olympics can be an important economic stimulus for the Japanese economy in the post-coronavirus era, according to International Olympic Committee’s John Coates. The lockdowns and restrictions on movements due to the virus around the world have delivered a significant blow to the global economy.
Coates, who is the chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, said that Japan like most countries could face a recession due to the pandemic and the Olympics is a good opportunity for them to make some recoveries.
“If Japan is anywhere like the rest of the world where there is an economic downturn, a recession maybe, these Games are a very positive opportunity to be an economic stimulus,” Coates told reporters via a press conference on Youtube after an IOC and Tokyo 2020 executive project review meeting.
“These Games can be how you can kick-start the economy again. These Games can be the rebirth of the tourism industry and provide opportunities for your hotel operators and airlines.
“They will obviously provide jobs, with new events in the spring. Yes, there will be some negative impacts,” he said.
Coates also said that Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must have had all this in mind when a postponement to next year was proposed initially.
“Prime Minister Abe is a very smart man and I have no doubt that when he proposed we postpone the Games for one year, he had in mind the positive economic stimulus this would provide for Tokyo and Japan in what would otherwise be a downturn.
“I think there would be a lot of other cities and countries around the world wishing for a similar opportunity. These are the sorts of things world leaders are considering at the moment, projects which can kick-start economies.
“Prime Minister Abe is a leader in the world and I am suspecting this might have been in his mind.”
The Tokyo Olympics is set to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.