TOKYO (Reuters) – Within hours of Olympic organizers confirming that the rescheduled Games would start on July 23 next year, Tokyo’s main countdown clock had been reset to show that 479 days remain until the opening ceremony of the sporting event is held.
The digital clock in front of the iconic Tokyo station was erected in the run-up to the $12 billion Games. It had been showing the time as normal earlier on Monday after the Olympics were postponed last week due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The delay has caused uncertainty for Tokyo businesses and sponsors. At least one electronic store briefly changed its marketing display to show “999” days left, highlighting the uncertainty about when the Games would be held.
On Monday, organizers announced that the Games would run from July 23 to Aug. 8. Officials have previously said the Games would still be called “Tokyo 2020” even though they will now be held in 2021.
(The story refiles to clarify what was being shown on clock earlier on Monday in paragraph two).
Reporting by Issei Kato; Additional reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Writing by David Dolan, editing by Pritha Sarkar