If the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were to be canceled, this would be the second time the Summer Games to be held in Tokyo will not push through
Tokyo 1940: The Missing Olympics
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - March 21, 2020 - 11:41am

MANILA, Philippines — The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are in danger of being canceled or postponed, with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting the globe.

But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has insisted that the Summer Games will still push through as planned.

Should the virus develop in a way that would cause the IOC to ultimately make a tough decision and not hold the games, it would be the first time the Olympics won't push through since 1940.

Coincidentally, the 1940 Summer Games were also supposed to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Philstar.com takes a dive into the 1940 edition of the quadriennial meet, which ultimately became known as 'The Missing Olympics'.

Tokyo in the late 1930s

In 1936, Tokyo was chosen as the Olympics hosts in a surprise move by the IOC — becoming the first non-Western city to win an Olympic hosting bid.

Tokyo city officials suggested the Olympic hosting as a means of "international diplomacy" after Japan was alienated from the League of Nations, an intergovernmental organization tasked to maintain world peace at the tie.

Japan became alienated from the LoN due to their occupation of Northeastern China known as Manchuria in 1931.

While Tokyo officials and IOC representatives were supportive of the Olympic campaign, the national government, who was more interested in military matters, did not show any strong support for the hosting.

In their hosting of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo wants to establish their "comeback year" after the tragedy of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

They have branded the 2020 Olympics as the "Recovery Games".

In 1937, the second Sino-Japanese war broke out and members of the Japanese legislature immediately requested that the Olympics be forfeited.

But Japanese IOC delegates persisted under a belief that the war would be over soon and not affect the Olympics.

However, the war intensified and the feasibility of the games grew increasingly questionable to other countries.

Others suggested a different site be chosen and spoke of boycotting the Games should they proceed in Japan.

The forfeiture of the Tokyo hosting was later announced in July 1938.

The Games were supposedly swithced to another host country Finland, particulary in Helsinki, but ultimately did not push through due to World War II.

The Olympics would ultimately be held again in 1948 in London. Helsinki also played host to the Games in 1952.

Tokyo waited until 1964 to host the Olympics.

While the IOC is currently insisting that the Games will still push through this July, with the coronavirus threat continuing to grow around the globe, people may wonder will history repeat itself?

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