Survey Finds 80% in Japan Believe Tokyo Olympics Should be Postponed or Canceled

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The Olympic Rings in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

In a survey conducted by Japanese media, more than 80% of people in Japan believe the Tokyo Olympics should be canceled or postponed.

According to The Associated Press, the polls were conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS — the Tokyo Broadcasting System.

After being postponed originally from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympics were pushed to 2021 and the preparations continue to open on July 23.

But a recent surge of COVID-19 in Tokyo has changed the thoughts of many on the idea that the Olympics will be able to happen, especially with the potential of bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan — not to mention judges, officials, media and sponsors. The allowance of international fans is still something being discussed, as well as the allowance of local fans.

The Japanese government has declared a state of emergency because of the virus, but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was confident the Olympics would still take place.

But the surveyed people believe differently. Japan has confirmed nearly 3,800 deaths to COVID-19.

According to the AP, the TBS poll asked if the Olympics can still take place. In the telephone survey with 1,261 responding, 81% replied “no” with only 13% answering “yes.” The “no” responses increased 18 percentage points from a similar survey in December. In Kyodo’s poll, 80.1% said the Olympics should be canceled or rescheduled, up from 63% in a December poll.

Kyodo said the survey covered 715 randomly selected households with eligible voters.

According to the AP, Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to hold the Olympics, although several government audits show the number is about $25 billion. All but $6.7 billion is public money.

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