Half Japan Predicts Olympics Will Go Ahead Despite Opposition, Poll Shows

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  • Half of the Japanese public thinks the Olympics will take place this summer, a survey by Yomiuri daily newspaper showed.
  • The Olympics have already been postponed by a year amid coronavirus concerns.

Half of the Japanese public think the 2020 Olympics will take place this summer, a survey by the Yomiuri daily newspaper showed, despite most people opposing holding the Games during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Reuters.

Concerns over the Tokyo Olympics

For the Tokyo Olympics, already postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, public concerns remain over how Tokyo can hold the global event and keep volunteers, athletes, officials and the Japanese public safe from COVID-19.

At parliament, opposition lawmakers on Monday grilled Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and cabinet ministers over going ahead with the Games despite worries that holding such a big sporting event could further spread coronavirus infections.

‘Safe and secure’ games

Japan has been “cornered” into holding the Games despite public opposition during the pandemic, one of Japan’s sporting heroes and a member of the local Olympic committee said earlier.

Top government officials repeatedly said that the government would continue to work on coronavirus measures for a “safe and secure” Games, and that a decision on domestic spectators would be made this month.

Taking infection control measures for athletes and Games officials so athletes from the world can safely participate and to protect our people’s lives and health, I think that is the premise of holding (the Olympics),” Suga told lawmakers.

Survey shows 50% chance

In a Yomiuri survey conducted June 4-6, 50% of respondents said the Games would happen this summer; 26% said they would occur without spectators. That is higher than 48% of those polled saying the event would be cancelled.

But most of the respondents in the same poll said virus measures for Olympics athletes and participants are not enough, while public support for the Suga administration hit their lowest level, at 37%.

About 3,500 out of over 40,000 “city volunteers” recruited by regional governments for the Olympics have pulled out, NHK reported. That adds to 10,000 volunteers had already withdrawn, according to the organisers.

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Source: Reuters

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