International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach accepts that 2021 is the last chance to stage the Tokyo Games.
Having already been pushed back a year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo has previously said the event cannot take place in 2021 unless the coronavirus is contained with the head of the Japan Medical Association suggesting that it depends on finding a vaccine.
In an interview Bach said he understood the view of the Japanese government
He also said the IOC was committed to holding the Games next year but they have to be prepared for various scenarios, including athletes going into quarantine.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are due to take place in China just six months after the Tokyo Games.