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Japan is determined to host Tokyo Olympics next year: PM Yoshihide Suga tells UN

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told the United Nations General Assembly on Friday Japan has decided to host the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after the games were postponed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Games were originally scheduled for this summer, but were postponed for a year in March by the International Olympic Committee and therefore the Japanese government.

"In the summer of next year, Japan has decided to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic," Suga said during a recorded message.

"I will still spare no effort so as to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure," Suga said in his debut speech to the United Nations as Japan's new leader.

Suga became prime minister this month after Shinzo Abe stepped down due to poor health.

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday proposed curtailing the amount of staff at next year's Summer Games and shortening the opening period for training venues, as a part of an idea to carry a streamlined event amid the pandemic.

Suga also told the UN assembly he's able to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with none preconditions to resolve the long-running issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago, reiterating the stance of his predecessor.

"Establishing a constructive relationship between Japan and North Korea won't only serve the interests of each side but also will greatly contribute to regional peace and stability," he said.

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