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AP PHOTOS: Postponed Tokyo Olympics to open in just 6 months

The postponed Tokyo Olympics are due to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe.

Venues around Tokyo are mostly shuttered and quiet, and may remain that way for a few months until local organizers give more explicit details about exactly how they will pull off the games during a pandemic. More details are expected early in the spring when the torch relay begins from northern Japan. That event is set for March 25 and involves 10,000 runners headed to Tokyo over four months. It’s hard to imagine the torch relay starting if the Olympics were not to follow.

The Olympics are enormous, the numbers staggering. They involve 11,000 athletes, and the Paralympics add another 4,400. The athletes represent 206 nations or territories. In addition, tens of thousands of others are involved, including coaches, judges, administrators, media and broadcasters.

Japan National Stadium, where opening ceremony and many other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is seen from a rooftop observation deck Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tokyo. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoKiichiro Sato)

It’s still unclear if fans will be allowed in venues, and increasingly doubtful that fans from abroad will be allowed to enter Japan.

Recent polls show about 80% of the Japanese public think the Olympics should be canceled, or postponed again. The International Olympic Committee has said they will not be postponed again and will be canceled if they cannot be held.

The Olympics have been canceled five times — all in wartime. The 1916, 1940 and 1944 Summer Olympics were canceled, as were the 1940 and 1944 Winter Olympics.

A man walks across a street as a massive steel structure of the TV Tower, that houses studios for live broadcasts of Tokyo 2020, in front of National Stadium, where opening ceremony and many other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is seen from a rooftop observation deck Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tokyo. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoKiichiro Sato)

IOC member Richard Pound said in a recent interview that fans were not needed to hold the Olympics. The key for the IOC is getting the event on television. The IOC earns almost 75% of its income from selling broadcast rights. If Tokyo is canceled, estimates suggest it could cost the IOC $2 billion to $3 billion in lost revenue from broadcasters.

Runners pass by Japan National Stadium, where opening ceremony and many other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tokyo. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoKiichiro Sato)

A man and a woman walk past the Nippon Budokan arena, one of the venues planned to be used in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, in Tokyo on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoHiro Komae)

A man wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus plays ground golf near the Tokyo Aquatics Center, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

Two men walk near the Tokyo Aquatics Center, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

A man and a woman walk near the Olympic rings floating in the water in the Odaiba section in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

A man walks past the closed Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, a venue renovated to be used in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, in Tokyo on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The arena was used for the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoHiro Komae)

A woman runs near Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

Yoyogi National Stadium, where many other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is seen from a rooftop observation deck Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tokyo. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoKiichiro Sato)

Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, is seen in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

A man rides a bicycle past Canoe Slalom Course, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

Security guards, bottom right, pass by each other as they patrol the closed area of the riverbank adjacent to a closed building complex, back left, built to be used for the athletes' village during the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, in Tokyo on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoHiro Komae)

A worker stands at a spectator stand at Canoe Slalom Course, one of the venues of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

A man walks on a bridge past a closed building complex, right, built to be used for the athletes' village during the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, in Tokyo on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But it’s still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP PhotoHiro Komae)