Poll finds 80% of Japanese people want Tokyo Olympics to be scrapped

Delayed Games meant to start on July 23rd but city is currently in a state of emergency

The future of the Tokyo Olympics remains in the balance. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/Getty/AFP

The future of the Tokyo Olympics remains in the balance. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/Getty/AFP

 

A telephone poll conducted in Japan has found around 80 per cent of Japanese people want this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo to be cancelled or postponed.

The website Inside the Games reported on Monday that in a Kyodo News survey, 35.3 per cent of those polled called for the cancellation of the Games and 44.8 per cent said there should be another postponement.

Tokyo recently recorded 1,494 new coronavirus infections, the sixth day in a row the daily number of cases has exceeded 1,000. The capital city, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba entered into a state of emergency on Friday (January 8th) due to the increase in cases.

After the postponement of the Games from last summer the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23rd to August 8th, with the Paralympics due to follow from August 24th to September 5th.

Organisers have previously claimed the Games would be cancelled outright if they cannot take place this year. If competition does go ahead, a host of Covid-19 countermeasures will be implemented in Tokyo.

In an address to mark the start of 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to hold a “safe and secure” Olympics in 2021 despite rising concern over the infection rate. Critics have since claimed Suga was too slow in enacting a state of emergency, however, and the Kyodo News survey found a disapproval rate of 42.8 per cent for the Prime Minister.

Last week Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, said he “can’t be certain” that the delayed Games would go ahead. Organisers and the IOC president, Thomas Bach, have insisted the Olympics will go ahead, and have agreed it will not be possible to delay them a second time.

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