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Over 80% of Japanese oppose Olympics this summer, says poll

Over 80% of Japanese oppose Olympics this summer, says poll

OLYMPICS: More than 80% of Japanese oppose hosting the virus-postponed Olympics this year, a new poll published today (May 17) showed, with just under 10 weeks until the Tokyo Games.

OlympicsParalympics
By AFP

Monday 17 May 2021, 09:32AM


Polls have consistently found a majority of Japanese oppose holding the Games this summer. Photo: AFP

Polls have consistently found a majority of Japanese oppose holding the Games this summer. Photo: AFP

The latest survey comes after Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency Friday as the nation battles a fourth wave of virus infections.

The surge has put pressure on the country’s healthcare system, with medical professionals repeatedly warning about shortages and burnout.

The weekend survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily found 43% of respondents want the Games cancelled, and 40% want a further postponement.

Those figures are up from 35% who backed cancellation in a survey by the paper a month ago, and 34% who wanted a further delay.

Only 14% support holding the Games this summer as scheduled, down from 28%, according to the poll of 1,527 replies from 3,191 telephone calls.

If the Games do go ahead, 59% of respondents said they want no spectators, with 33% backing lower fan numbers and three percent a regular capacity Games.

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For months, polling has found a majority in Japan oppose holding the Games this summer.

A separate poll by Kyodo News published yesterday showed 59.7% of respondents back cancellation, though further postponement was not listed as an option.

Olympic organisers says tough anti-virus measures, including regular testing of athletes and a ban on overseas fans, will keep the Games safe.

But the Kyodo poll found 87.7% of respondents worry that an influx of athletes and staff members from abroad may spread the virus.

Japan has seen a smaller virus outbreak than many countries, with fewer than 11,500 deaths so far. But the government has come under pressure for a comparatively slow vaccine rollout.

The Kyodo poll found 85% of respondents considered the rollout slow, with 71.5% unhappy with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

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