Tokyo 2020 became the first Olympics postponed in peacetime earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold Photo: AFP/File

Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021: poll

By Philip Fong

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 organizations 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 percent of respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3 percent want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead.

Among those opposed to a 2021 Games, 27.7 percent said they want them cancelled altogether, while 24.0 percent 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 percent said the event should be in a scaled-back form, including without spectators, while 15.2 percent 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".

Koike has been heavily involved in preparations for the Games, traveling 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-percent effort" to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Years ago, me and my jaded foreigner pub mates laughed and rolled our eyes right after hearing news of Tokyo's bid. We all knew it would be, if not a disaster, then at least a kerfuffle if not a fiasco. The organizing committee should have employed us a consultants. It would have saved a ton of money and effort.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think the Japanese government deserves to host it now, due to their refusal to test our deal with the virus prior to the IOC deciding to postpone it, and the lack of testing afterwards and the lack of substantial treatment, excessive deaths figures, transparency and lack of lockdown measures, etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Olympics dont need.Just skip it.

I dont want see my tax to waste for this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Top ranking IOC official: "No vaccine, no Olympics."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Come on Abe and Co need this. With out it their whole tenure will be remembered as the plunging years. Not that they care about that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even though it's still too early to say, I'd just want to believe that if the pandemic doesn't let up globally let's say around 6-3 months before July 2021, the organizers should consider postponing it for another year or other options

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Incorrect. 24% have said they would like to see it in 2022 or beyond, but the government, JOC, IOC, and others have made it clear that it's 2021 or complete cancellation, which means those 24% want it cancelled. So, that's more than 50% total that want this fiasco done with.

But as I came on this thread to point out originally, more than half of residents were opposed to the bid to begin with. No one listened then, they won't now. Too much money and "honor" are at stake for those in power, and for their vested interests.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I like to see the Olympics. It is always a nice sports event.

But according the Corona Virus situation in July 2021, it is too early to say something.

I think, we should wait and see how this winter will go on according Corona and how will the vaccine development go on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Add my vote. I didn’t want it before. When I saw cutey say omotenashi I knew it was all over.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

46.3% want to see Olympics in 2021.

24.0% want to see Olympics in 2022 or beyond.

70.3% want to see Olympics one way or anther

27.7% want Olympics cancelled.


-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Did the survey give the option of postponing the Olympics again? If so, why? Everyone in control said there will be no second postponement.

Second, I don't think 'traveling to Rio for the handover ceremony' is the best example of 'being heavily involved in preparations for the Games' given that as the mayor of the next city encumbered with 'the Games' it was her job.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I don't live in Tokyo but if you're going to use my tax money to fund this or whatever cost over run Tokyo will accrue, then I have a voice too. Cancel now.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Another politician playing ‘God’, telling people that things will ‘safe’ ...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites