Majority in Japan want Tokyo Olympics canceled or postponed, poll shows

Japan is moving ahead with plans for the Tokyo Summer Olympics despite widespread public opposition. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI

April 12 (UPI) — More than 70% of people in Japan said in a poll they are opposed to holding the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

A local poll taken from March 10 to 12 showed 39.2% of respondents said they would support the cancellation of the Olympics, and 32.8% of those polled said the Olympics should be postponed again, Kyodo News reported Monday.

While 72% of the respondents expressed disapproval of current government policy, about 24.5% of those surveyed said that the Olympics should proceed as planned, the report said.

Nearly all respondents to the survey, or 92.6%, said they are concerned about the further spread of the novel coronavirus and a “fourth wave” of the deadly disease.

News of the March survey came as the Japanese government began to impose stronger measures against COVID-19 in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa Prefecture. The rules are effective in Tokyo until May 11, and until May 5 for Kyoto and Okinawa.

They impact restaurants and other businesses that will have to reduce hours. Fines will be applied to violators, local reports say.

The results of the March survey may not come as a surprise to the Japanese public, but the government has refused to cancel or postpone the Summer Games.

Japan has already forged plans to spend billions of dollars on the Olympics. According to Sports Illustrated on Monday, government audits indicate Japan has allocated about $25 billion for the Olympics, which would make the event the most expensive Olympics on record by $10 billion.

Anti-Olympic activism in Japan is rare, however.

Activists like Toshio Miyazaki, founder of group 2020 No Thank You to Olympic Disasters, have been unable to build a bigger movement because of a lack of “mainstream tradition” of protests in the country, according to Yuji Ishizaka, an Olympics historian who spoke to Sports Illustrated.

The Games’ 80,000 volunteers also have yet to receive training. Hotels, airlines and travel agencies have been left in limbo amid the pandemic, the report said.


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