Tokyo Olympics chief attended meeting with official who now has coronavirus

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FILE PHOTO: A member of the airport staff wearing a mask walks past the ‘Tokyo 2020 Go’ aircraft, before it departs for Greece, to transport the Olympic Flame back to Japan, at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Japan March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori attended a meeting on March 10 that included the deputy head of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) who tested positive for the new coronavirus this week, officials said.

Mori, 82, has not been tested because he was not subject to testing requirements, an official from Mori’s office said, adding that he had no symptoms of the virus.

Mori and JOC deputy head Kozo Tashima attended a board meeting regarding the Rugby World Cup. Tashima tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

At meeting, about 60 people were in a room and Mori was seated about 10 meters away from Tashima on the opposite side of the table, according to Jun Kusumoto, a spokesman for the Rugby World Cup organizing committee.

Doubts are mounting that the Olympics can go proceed as planned given disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic but Tokyo Games and Japanese government officials have said the event will go ahead as scheduled and will not be held behind closed doors.

Hiroshi Iijima, deputy governor of Saitama prefecture, who also attended the meeting decided to self-quarantine and will not return to work until March 23, Ryoji Hiraiwa, a prefecturual official said.

Iijima does not have any coronavirus-related symptoms, the official added.

Reporting by Ami Miyazaki and Ju-min Park; Additional reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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