The International Olympic Committee has welcomed the support of the Group of Seven major economic powers for Japan to host the Tokyo Games in summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We support the commitment of Japan to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19," a G7 statement said after a virtual summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year and are now to be held among a strict safety and hygiene concept from July 23 onwards.
"We welcome the message of support of the G7 Leaders for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, to be held this summer. At the IOC, we are very grateful for this strong signal of confidence and encouragement," IOC president Thomas Bach said.
"This will inspire us to even reinforce our efforts, together with the Japanese government and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, to organise these Olympic and Paralympic Games in a safe and secure way for all the participants."
The IOC and Japanese organisers are committed to staging the Games despite a state of emergency in Tokyo and surrounding areas owing to infection numbers.
According to surveys a vast majority of Japanese believe the Games will either be postponed again or scrapped.
But Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was encouraged by the G7 support.
"I told the meeting that I want to realise a safe and secure Olympics as testimony that human beings will have won the battle with the coronavirus," Suga told reporters.
"I was able to gain support from all the leaders. It was so encouraging."