Yamashita claims JOC and organisers are "advancing step by step" towards Tokyo 2020

Yamashita claims JOC and organisers are "advancing step by step" towards Tokyo 2020

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JOC President Yasuhiro Yamashita claimed his organisation and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee are "advancing step by step" towards next year's Games ©Getty Images

Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Yasuhiro Yamashita claimed his organisation and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee are "advancing step by step" towards next year's postponed Games.

Yamashita sent a message to his international counterparts alongside fellow International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Morinari Watanabe.

The letter was sent to mark Olympic Day, which marks the anniversary of the IOC formation in Paris in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin and is celebrated on June 23 each year.

Both Yamashita and Watanabe are heavily involved in organising the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympics, now postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yamashita said that JOC and Tokyo 2020 were "advancing step by step toward the Olympic Games", as reported by Kyodo News.

He also provided an update on the state of sport in Japan.

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Nippon Professional Baseball season has started in Japan behind closed doors ©Getty Images

"The Japanese sports community is also slowly but firmly starting to move forward, while evaluating the COVID-19 situation with utmost caution," Yamashita said.

The National Training Center in Tokyo, used by elite athletes in Japan, reopened on May 27 after the state of emergency was lifted in the capital.

This year's Nippon Professional Baseball season began behind closed doors last week, while the J-League is scheduled to resume on July 4.

Spectators are set to return to both events next month.

Coronavirus cases are climbing in Tokyo, however, with a 90-day high of 55 cases reported today.

There have been nearly 18,000 coronavirus cases in Japan in total, resulting in 955 deaths.

By Nancy Gillen-InsideTheGames 

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