Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021: Poll

Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021: Poll

Tokyo 2020 became the first Olympics postponed in peacetime earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Tokyo 2020 became the first Olympics postponed in peacetime earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

TOKYO: Just over half of Tokyo's residents don't think the postponed 2020 Olympics should be held next year, backing either a further delay or outright cancellation because of fears over the coronavirus, according to a poll published Monday.

The survey carried out by two Japanese news organisations is only a single data point, but comes after health experts warned that even a year's delay may not be sufficient to hold the Games safely.

The poll conducted over the weekend found 51.7% of respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3% want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead.

Among those opposed to a 2021 Games, 27.7% said they want them cancelled altogether, while 24.0% would prefer a second postponement.

The telephone poll, conducted by Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television between June 26-28, received 1,030 replies.

Of those who said they want to see the Games held next year, 31.1% said the event should be in a scaled-back form, including without spectators, while 15.2% said they wanted to see a full-blown Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as the coronavirus spread across the globe, causing the worst disruption to the Olympics since two editions were cancelled during World War II.

The Games are now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021, although they will still be known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Officials from Japan and the International Olympic Committee have warned it will not be possible to postpone again, and even the year-long delay has created significant financial and logistical headaches.

The poll, conducted ahead of the Tokyo gubernatorial election on July 5, also found incumbent Yuriko Koike leading her opponents "by a large margin".

Her precise lead was not specified, in keeping with a media tradition of not publishing polling figures in the days before a vote.

Koike has been heavily involved in preparations for the Games, travelling to Rio for the handover ceremony after the last Summer Olympics.

Earlier this month, she told AFP that the rescheduled Olympics will be safe despite the coronavirus pandemic, pledging a "120% effort" to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (4)

Coronavirus keeps Chinese visitors away from HK during Golden Week

The shine is gone from the annual Golden Week holiday that begins on Oct 1, and Hong Kong's hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and attractions can only look back wistfully at the better times of years gone by.

19:55

Belarus opposition holds 'people's inauguration' protest

MINSK: Belarus police on Sunday arrested several people before an opposition march in support of protest figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya days after the country's leader was secretly sworn in despite historic protests.

19:45

Virus world update

Overnight curfew in Australia's second city to be lifted as coronavirus cases spike in New York global coronavirus toll approaches one million dead.

19:00