Japan must plan for Olympics cancellation risk - ruling party heavyweight

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan must brainstorm plans for dealing with canceled or postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, even if that is unlikely, said Shigeru Ishiba, a ruling party heavyweight seen as a leading candidate to be the next prime minister.

Ishiba, an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said on Wednesday the fate of the Tokyo Olympics was a decision best left to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He declined to comment on what the best move might be.

Whatever the decision, Japan must be prepared, he said.

"Not thinking about worst-case scenarios won't eliminate the risk of them materializing," Ishiba told Reuters.

"The government must start thinking now about what to do" in case the Olympics Games is canceled or postponed, he added.