Support for Olympics Hits New Low in Japan: Poll

A new low in Japan this summer has reached support for hosting the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics, a poll found Sunday as the nation is fighting a third wave of infections.

In a December 6 survey by the same source, just over 80 per cent of those asked by Kyodo news agency said the major global event should be cancelled or postponed again, a jump from around 60 per cent, reports AFP.

Kyodo said the survey asked 1,041 participants nationwide, who were selected by random dialling.

Tokyo 2020 organisers have said that another delay is out of the question and are insisting that the Games will begin despite a state of emergency declared this week in the greater Tokyo area over a surge in cases involving Covid-19.

In Sunday’s national telephone poll, around 35 percent of people told Kyodo they favoured outright cancellation, while some 45 percent said the event should be postponed a second time.

In the capital and nearby areas, the month-long emergency is less serious than the severe lockdowns seen elsewhere in the world and mainly targets restaurants and bars that have been ordered to close early.

This week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan is committed to hosting the "safe and safe" Olympics.

He said he believed the public mood will change when the country begins vaccinations, currently scheduled for late February.

But senior International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound told the BBC he could not “be certain” the Games will go ahead, because “the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus”.

Public sentiment towards the Olympics in Japan has been less than optimistic for months.

Two polls in July showed the majority thought the event should be postponed again or cancelled, while a survey released in December by national broadcaster NHK found that only 27 percent of respondents supported holding the Games in 2021.

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