Tokyo Olympics: more than 80% of Japanese oppose hosting Games – poll | Japan – About Your Online Magazine


More than 80% of Japanese people are opposed to hosting the Olympics this year, a new survey published on Monday showed, with just under 10 weeks for the Tokyo Games.

The latest research was released after Japan expanded the coronavirus’ state of emergency on Friday, while the country faces a fourth wave of virus infections.

The increase put pressure on the country’s health system, with medical professionals warning repeatedly of scarcity and depletion.

The daily Asahi Shimbun weekend survey found that 43% of respondents want the Games to be canceled and 40% want a new postponement.

Those numbers are higher than the 35% who supported the cancellation in a newspaper survey a month ago, and 34% who wanted another postponement.

Only 14% support the Games this summer as scheduled, compared to 28%, according to the survey with 1,527 responses from 3,191 phone calls.

If the Games go ahead, 59% of respondents said they do not want viewers, with 33% supporting a smaller number of fans and 3% a regular Games capacity.

For months, polls found a majority in Japan opposing the Games this summer. A separate Kyodo News poll published on Sunday showed that 59.7% of respondents support the cancellation, although a later postponement was not listed as an option.

Olympics organizers say that severe anti-virus measures, including regular testing of athletes and a ban on foreign fans, will keep the Games safe. But the Kyodo survey revealed that 87.7% of respondents fear that an influx of athletes and officials from abroad could spread the virus.

Japan has seen a smaller virus outbreak than many countries, with less than 11,500 deaths so far. But the government is under pressure for a relatively slow release of vaccines.

The Kyodo survey found that 85% of respondents considered the implementation slow, with 71.5% dissatisfied with the way the government handled the pandemic.

Paula Fonseca