Thomas Bach, IOC President, is optimistic that the Tokyo Olympics will be able to go ahead in 2021,

Bach also suggested that progress is being made on a coronavirus vaccine that could help the event in Japan.

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In an online meeting, Bach told the media that he is hopeful for next summer's Games.

"We can see that sport is coming back slowly but surely .... which shows to us, shows to the world, that we can organise safe sports events even without a vaccine," Bach told a meeting of IOC representatives and Japanese officials and organisers.

The spread of the coronavirus had led to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Bach also suggested that work done on the vaccine front could help accelerate the return to normal life and also the Games in 2021.

"We also have very encouraging news about the development of vaccines," he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe this summer, and Bach spoke to one another on Wednesday and will work together in order to ensure the safety of athletes and, potentially, spectators.

Bach and Suga spoke by telephone on Wednesday and agreed to cooperate closely to stage a safe and secure Games for athletes and spectators.

"We are sitting together in one boat. The only thing we have to do now is to row in the same direction," Bach told the meeting, also attended by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and other officials participated.

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