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Less than a quarter of Japan’s population support next year’s Tokyo Olympics

Less than a quarter of Japan’s population support next year’s Tokyo Olympics
July 27, 2020

A survey of people in Japan has revealed that only 23.9% support holding the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year.

With less than a year until the rearranged opening ceremony of the Games, 36.4% of respondents to a nationwide opinion poll thought that the Summer Games should be postponed again, while 33.7% said they should be cancelled.

The results were revealed following a three-day Kyodo News telephone survey covering 721 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,374 mobile phone numbers.

Against the backdrop of a recent surge in Coronavirus cases in Japan, 75.3% of those supporting a further delay in the games or their cancellation, said the Coronavirus will not be contained anytime soon.

The Tokyo Games' organisers and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to simplify the rescheduled event, now due to commence on 23rd July next year.

On the question of what could be done to downsize the games, 44.1% said they should be held without spectators or with limited numbers at each venue, something which the International Olympic Committee has already ruled out.

Yasuhiro Yamashita, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, recently said he backed the current plans by Tokyo organisers for a slimmed-down Olympics, stating “we will not gain support from Japanese citizens unless we simplify the games and focus less on flamboyancy and concentrate more on efficiency.”

Japan is also considering easing travel restrictions for foreign athletes from countries including those subject to its entry restrictions, if they are not infected with COVID-19. In relation to this, the poll found 69.1% are supportive of their participation, while 26.5% are against.

The poll also found more than half of the country's populace are dissatisfied with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to the spread of the Coronavirus.

Image: Tokyo's Japan National Stadium will be the centrepiece of next year's Games.

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