Most Japanese still oppose the Tokyo-2020 Olympics, postponed for the 2021 summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and are in favor of deferring or canceling them again, according to a new poll published on Tuesday. This survey shows that Japanese public opinion has changed little since the middle of the year, despite the arrival of the first vaccines on the market.
The latest survey by public network NHK reveals that only 27% of respondents support the games in mid-2021, 32% are in favor of canceling them and 31% are putting them off again. The rest said they’re not sure or haven’t answered. However, despite the coronavirus and the Japanese perception, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike noted that there are “no circumstances” that will make the Olympic Games think at this time that the Olympic Games can be annulled.
The governor acknowledged that a majority of the Japanese population continues to oppose the organization in 2021 of the Games, but was convinced that these concerns will soon be overcome. “The Japanese public and the inhabitants of Tokyo have their eyes on the current situation,” Koike explained. “We look to the future,” he added. The organizers of the sporting event, scheduled between July 23 and August 8, as well as senior Japanese officials, have ruled out a new postponement of Tokyo-2020, the first Olympic Games in history to be postponed in peacetime.
Its postponement was announced last March when the coronavirus was spreading around the world. Organizers estimate that the Games can be held even if the pandemic is not under control before the next northern summer. Other polls confirm the reluctance of the Japanese. A poll published Monday by Jiji News Agency also revealed that 21% of respondents were in favor of cancellation and nearly 30%, of additional postponement.
According to a similar survey by Kyodo news agency published on December 6, 61.2% of respondents oppose the Games next year. The recent launch of vaccination campaigns in some regions of the world has strengthened organizers’ confidence in hosting the Games, although the vaccine will not be mandatory for athletes or spectators.
There are currently waves of infections in many countries, including Japan, where the number of victims is relatively low with fewer than 2,600 deaths reported since the onset of the pandemic, according to official figures. At the beginning of December, organizers announced that the Games would cost about 2.1 billion euros ($2.55 billion) more than expected, bringing the total provisional budget to about 13 billion euros ($15.7 billion).
Koike thinks that this is going to change and recalls the panoply of anticoronavirus measures made with a view to the Olympic Games to be held from July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympic Games, scheduled from August 24 to September 5.
“I am convinced that people will find hope again, once the measures against coronavirus are firmly applied,” he said. The recent launch of vaccination campaigns in some countries strengthened organizers’ confidence in the possibility of maintaining the Tokyo Games in 2021. On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga asked his compatriots to reconsider their travel projects during the year-end period. He even ordered the suspension of a program to promote domestic tourism.