Tokyo Olympics: Cancelling Games still an option, says top Japanese official

A senior Japanese ruling party official said cancelling this year's Olympic Games is an option if the COVID-19 crisis becomes too dire, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday, less than 100 days from the planned start of the Games.

If rising coronavirus cases means "it is said to be impossible we would have to give up," Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said in comments in a television interview, Kyodo reported.

Japan is grappling with rising coronavirus infections, with numbers trending higher in Tokyo after the government ended a state of emergency, and Osaka suffering a record number of cases.

The government is pushing ahead with preparations incorporating social distancing measures and restrictions on spectators for the Games set to begin on July 23.

Polls indicate little support in Japan for holding the Games during a global pandemic. 

"Canceling Olympics" was trending on Twitter in Japan on Thursday with more than 20,000 tweets from users.

Olympic organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.