Thursday, March 4, 2021

80% of Japanese say Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled or won’t happen

Poll results show people are growing more doubtful of the need for the Olympics in the face of the current surge.

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More than 80% of people in Japan who were surveyed in two polls in the last few days say the Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled or postponed, or say they believe the games will not be able to take place.

The polls were conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS, the Tokyo Broadcasting System.

The results are bad news for Tokyo organisers and the International Olympic Committee as they continue to insist that the postponed Olympics will open as rescheduled, on July 23.

Tokyo is struggling against a surge of Covid-19 cases that last week prompted the national government to call a state of emergency.

In declaring the emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was confident the Olympics would be able to go ahead.

Japan has controlled the virus relatively well but the current surge has heightened people’s doubts about the need for the Olympics and the obvious dangers of bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country during the pandemic.

The Olympics would also host tens of thousands of coaches, judges, officials, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters. It is not clear if fans from abroad would be allowed, or if even local fans would be permitted to attend events.

In the Kyodo poll, 80% of respondents in a telephone survey said the Olympics should be cancelled or rescheduled. The same question in December found 63% calling for cancellation or postponement.

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