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Thursday, December 2, 2021

TOKYO OLYMPICS: MORE THAN 80% OF JAPANESE OPPOSE HOSTING GAMES – POLL

More than 80% of Japanese people oppose hosting the Olympics this year, a poll published on recently showed, with just under 10 weeks until the Tokyo Games.

The latest survey comes after Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency in mid-May 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.

PHOTO CREDIT: Associated Press

The 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 3% a regular capacity Games.

For months, polling has found a majority in Japan oppose holding the Games this summer. A separate poll by Kyodo News published on Sunday 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 percent unhappy with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

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This article first appeared in the Guardian. 

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