The Japanese remain mostly reluctant to hold the Olympics in 2021

The Japanese remain mostly reluctant to hold the Olympics in 2021

TOKYO | A majority of Japanese still oppose the organization of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed to summer 2021 due to the coronavirus, and are in favor of a further postponement or outright cancellation, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

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This survey shows that Japanese public opinion has changed little since last summer, despite the arrival of the first vaccines on the market.

The latest poll released by public broadcaster NHK reveals that only 27% of those polled support holding the Games next summer, with 32% in favor of canceling them and 31% of postponing them again. Other respondents say they are unsure or have not given an answer.

Event organizers and Japanese officials ruled out any further postponement of Tokyo 2020, the first Olympic Games in history to be postponed to peacetime. Their postponement was announced last March, as the coronavirus spread across the world.

Organizers now say the Games can take place, even if the pandemic is not brought under control by next summer.

Other opinion surveys, however, confirm the reluctance of the Japanese public.

A poll released on Monday by the Jiji News Agency also found that 21% of those polled were in favor of a cancellation and nearly 30% of a further delay. According to a similar poll by the Kyodo news agency published on December 6, 61.2% of those polled were opposed to holding the Games next year.

The recent launch of vaccination campaigns in certain regions of the world has reinforced the confidence of the organizers in the possibility of organizing the Olympics, even if the inoculation will not be compulsory for the athletes or the spectators.

But even as vaccines begin to flow, new waves of infections are sweeping through many countries, including Japan where the toll is relatively low with fewer than 2,600 deaths to date since the start of the pandemic, according to reports. official figures.

The postponement of the Games and the development of measures against the coronavirus has proven to be a logistical nightmare and a financial sinkhole.

In early December, organizers announced that the Olympics would cost € 2.1 billion more than expected, bringing the total provisional budget to around € 13 billion.

The Olympic Games are to be held from July 23 to August 8, and the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

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