Leaders of the 'Group of Seven' (G7) wealthiest advanced democracies on Sunday reiterated their continuous support for the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics. The G7, an alliance formed between the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Olympic hosts Japan, held an in-person leaders' summit in southwestern England.
At the G7 meeting, which was held from June 11-13, the leaders mutually agreed to publicly endorse the plan to conduct the Tokyo Olympics as per schedule.
In a joint statement, the world's leading economies supported Japan's decision to stage the Tokyo Olympics 'in a safe and secure manner as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19'.
The Olympic opening ceremony is due to be held on July 23, despite a state of emergency in Tokyo after the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. The capital is among a string of Japanese states grappling with a record wave of infections.
'G7 support for Tokyo Olympics a great encouragement': IOC Chief
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach hailed the G7 endorsement, terming it 'a great encouragement'.
"We thank the G7 leaders for their support. We take this as a great encouragement to deliver safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 for everybody in this spirit of worldwide solidarity," said Bach after the G7 summit.
The impact of the COVID-19 was one of the primary topics up for discussion at the summit, along with climate crisis, economic recovery and foreign policy.
Newly-elected U.S. president Joe Biden extended his support for the Tokyo Olympics at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on the sidelines of the summit.
"President Biden affirmed his support for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving forward with all public health measures necessary to protect athletes, staff and spectators. President Biden expressed pride in the US athletes who have trained for the Tokyo Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit,” read a statement by the White house.
The development comes days after the United States eased its warnings against travel to Japan.
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 organizers are yet to take a final call on how many local spectators, if any, will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics. International fans have been barred from attending the global sporting showpiece.
Over 80 per cent of athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics are either vaccinated or 'in the process' of being inoculated, according to a recent IOC estimate.