IOC President Thomas Bach will return to Japan for the first time since the pandemic hit ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is set to embark on a trip to Tokyo which will see him meet officials including Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Bach is due to meet with Suga on Monday (November 16), as well as Koike on the same day. 

The IOC President is scheduled to visit Japan from tomorrow until Wednesday (November 18), where he will be accompanied by a small delegation of officials. 

This includes Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair John Coates, International Gymnastics Federation President Morinari Watanabe and Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita. 

It will be Bach's first visit to Tokyo since the coronavirus pandemic hit and his first meeting with Suga, who succeeded Shinzō Abe in September after he resigned due to ill health.

It has been reported that Bach will meet with Abe and give him an award on behalf of the IOC for his contributions towards the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Bach is also due to meet Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Monday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. 

Discussions will focus on preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Olympics are now scheduled for July 23 to August 8 in 2021, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5. 

Bach will travel to the Japanese capital by private jet and will self-isolate before and after the trip to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Thomas Bach will meet with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike during his visit to Japan ©Getty Images
Thomas Bach will meet with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike during his visit to Japan ©Getty Images

During his time in Tokyo, he will also visit the National Stadium and Athletes' Village, and hopes to speak to Japanese athletes.

Bach discussed the trip during a recent press conference following on from an IOC Executive Board meeting. 

"The message I want to deliver in Tokyo and to Japan and to the Japanese people is that we are fully committed to the safe organisation of the Games," he said.

Both Bach and Suga have previously expressed their commitment to making the Games "safe and secure" for athletes and spectators.  

Tokyo 2020 and the IOC were boosted by the news that a vaccine being developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90 per cent effective in preventing people from getting the virus after global trials. 

Bach, who has previously insisted a vaccine is not a "silver bullet" for the Games taking place, revealed the IOC was in talks with manufacturers and other health experts but claimed the organisation would not jump the queue ahead of those who need a vaccination most.

Organisers are subsequently still relying on a coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, which is currently assessing possible scenarios and measures that could allow the Games to run as scheduled in 2021.

Policies are expected to be announced before the end of the year.