The governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, during a press conference in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office.
Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images
As the one-year countdown to the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, athletes aren't the only participants preparing for the biggest fight of their careers. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike promises to do her best to keep the games alive.
Tokyo 2020 "can become a symbol of how the world has come together to overcome need and how humanity has strengthened its ties," Koike CNBC said in an interview on Tuesday just a few weeks after taking a resounding election victory in had won the second term.
The governor waived to guarantee the event in a year and recognized the hurdles associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"To make such hopeful games happen, we will continue to do our best to fight the infectious disease," she said.
She also recognized the importance of increasing support for games among the people of Japan. According to a survey published last week by the Kyodo news agency, less than a quarter of respondents want to see the games in 2021. Slightly more than 36% advocated a further delay in the games and almost 34% believe that the event should be canceled immediately. The survey found.
The governor not only ensured that the games were held safely, but was also tasked with keeping the event's costs at bay. The March decision to postpone the Olympic Games was a blow to Tokyo's economy at a time when the pandemic was driving Japan into recession.
Suggestions were made to reduce aspects of the event, such as the opening and closing ceremony, that could address some of the health and financial concerns. When asked if a stripped-down version of the games would get along without viewers, Koike declined to comment and insisted that "we have to win the Corona virus first".
The governor has received much praise for her handling of the crisis so far, which has probably contributed to her stronger than expected election result earlier this month. Koike secured the second largest number of voters in Tokyo's governor's history, which led to speculation about her possible application as prime minister.
Coronavirus cases have risen steadily since election day, but this has caused concern across the capital. According to Kyodo, Tokyo recorded 237 new cases on Tuesday, after 293 cases reported last Friday. According to the news agency, a total of 9,816 cases have been reported in the city.
The Tokyo city government raised its alarm system to the highest possible level last week to warn residents of the risk of transmission. When asked about the upward trend, the governor noted that the number of deaths was "very limited" and the number of serious cases was also limited compared to the rest of the world.
Koike acknowledged the reason for caution and other preventive measures and said it was not time to apply for another state of emergency, which was lifted in May.
"I think this is the time to live peacefully and safely with the current Covid-19," she said, calling on individuals and businesses to play their part in the ongoing struggle.
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcasting rights holder for all summer and winter games through 2032.