Tokyo had completed preparations when the coronavirus started spreading across the world.

This file photo taken on July 24, 2019 shows (left to right) Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on onstage as they attend a ceremony marking one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
This file photo taken on July 24, 2019 shows (left to right) Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on onstage as they attend a ceremony marking one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (AFP)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he and the head of the International Olympic Committee agreed on the idea of delaying the Tokyo Olympics by about one year.

Abe was speaking to reporters after a phone call with IOC President Thomas Bach on postponing the Games amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

"We asked President Bach to consider postponement of about one year to make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and to make the event a safe and secure one for spectators," Abe said.

"President Bach said he is in agreement 100 percent."

Tokyo had completed preparations when the virus started spreading across the world.

Despite insisting for months the Games would go ahead as planned, Abe this week said a delay may be unavoidable if the events could not be held in a complete form.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike separately told reporters the Games, to be convened by summer of 2021, would still be branded "Tokyo 2020."

Source: Reuters