Over Half Of Japanese Firms Oppose Tokyo2020 Olympic Games in 2021 As “Economic-Benefit” Hopes Fall

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Tokyo 202One - Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

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The economic realities of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic are starting to weigh in the opinions of Japanese business when it comes to the fate of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games in 2021, the results of a poll said to reflect ‘falling expectations of economic benefits’ from the event.

In a poll conducted by Tokyo Shoko Research (TSR), more than half of nearly 13,000 Japanese companies surveyed are opposed to the Olympics and Paralympics being held next July. That number is also split almost in half when it comes to those who want the Games to be cancelled altogether and those that want a further postponement.

The online survey by TSR, conducted between July 28 and August 11, covered 12,857 companies, of which 27.8 per cent said they want the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games to be canceled while 25.8 per cent said the sporting event should be postponed again.

In northern spring, the Games were postponed by a year to July 23 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis is still very much live, lockdown lifting resulting in a rise in coronavirus infections in many nations across the world.

Tokyo 2020 Games’ organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have agreed to simplify the world’s biggest multi-sports event in the interests of safety under current coronavirus pandemic conditions.

The view of the business community is also reflected, to some extent, in the Japanese population at large: last month, the day after some in favour of the Games marked “one year to go” to the July 23 Opening Ceremony in the Japanese capital, a large protest was held near Tokyo’s new National Stadium against holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the summer of 2021.

Expectations of Tokyo2020 Olympic Games Economic Benefits ‘Appear To Be Falling’

The latter survey of Japanese business opinion “appear to reflect falling expectations for the economic benefits that the event would bring, with fewer visitors to Japan expected”, according to Kyodo News.

A combined 53.6 per cent of the responding firms are not in favor of holding the Olympics as currently planned, while 46.2 per cent said they want the Games to go ahead in some form and at some time.

In the depth of the survey, which had 22.5 per cent of firms backing current plans and dates, 18.4 per cent of respondents believe the Games should be held with fewer spectators, while 5.3 per cent favoured a Games without any spectators.

Japan has seen coronavirus infection rates rising in recent weeks, taking the total number of cases over 60,000 in Japan, Tokyo accounting for more than 18,000 of those.

The Tokyo government has raised its alert for the pandemic to the highest of four levels, meaning “infections are spreading”.

Venues serving alcohol, including karaoke bars, have been asked to close by 10 p.m. until the end of August to reduce the risk of infection. Depending on how the fight against COVID-19 goes over winter, the Olympic Games could go ahead with 10pm curfews in place for visitors, unless the pandemic is brought under control by safety and lockdown measures or through the success of the various clinical trials underway as part of research aimed at turning tables on a virus that has now infected more than 22 million people and caused the deaths of almost 800,000 worldwide.

2 comments

  1. Mike Mcgowan

    I have family in Japan and air for 2021 is not good. Hope it changes. Some of these kid’s windows will close after that.

  2. Julie Tellier

    The Olympic Committee had better not award Japan and Olympic event ever again!! ?? Japan!!