Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has formally announced the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics — the games which were scheduled to begin in July this year have now been pushed to summer 2021, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was taken after PM Abe’s elaborate telephonic meeting with Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on March 24, 2020.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” reads an official statement.

The Olympic flame that arrived in Japan on March 20, Friday from Greece, will stay in Japan.

Additionally, it was also agreed that the games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.