March 27, 2020 / 8:31 AM / 4 months ago

With 40 new coronavirus cases, Tokyo governor asks people to enjoy cherry blossoms next year

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Tokyo prefecture reported 40 more coronavirus infections on Friday, as its governor appealed to people to wait until next year for traditional spring parties to view the flowering of cherry blossoms.

Preventing a regional outbreak was a prerequisite for holding a successful Olympic Games, after the event was delayed until next year, Yuriko Koike told reporters at a regular briefing.

Should the Games be held next spring, she expressed the hope of bringing back to host city Tokyo the Olympics marathon race that had to be relocated this year to the northern city of Sapporo because of hot weather.

A surge in virus infections this week took Tokyo’s tally to 259 on Thursday.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Sakura Murakami; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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