"With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge," said IOC president Thomas Bach.
"Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel."
The IOC said the decision was based on three main considerations: protecting the health of all involved, safeguarding the interests of athletes and Olympic sport (allowing athletes enough time to prepare and qualify), and causing minimal disruption to the sporting calendar.
The Paralympic Games will run from August 24 to September 5 – just five months before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
All athletes who previously qualified for Tokyo 2020 will keep their spots, while all quota places already assigned for the Games will remain unchanged.
"A certain amount of time required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable," said Mori Yoshiro, president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, .
"In terms of transport, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the COVID-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games to one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021."