New polls show a majority of Japanese residents believe the delayed 2020 Games should be further postponed or cancelled altogether Photo: AFP/File
sports

Only 23.9% of Japanese want Olympics next year: poll

34 Comments
By Philip FONG

Just one in four people in Japan want to see the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Games held next year, with most backing either further delay or a cancellation, a new poll shows.

Only 23.9 percent of respondents in the three-day nationwide poll published Sunday said they wanted to see the 2020 Games held next year.

The survey carried out by Kyodo news agency found 36.4 percent of respondents back a further delay of the Games, while 33.7 think the flagship event should be cancelled altogether.

Most of those backing a delay or cancellation said they simply didn't believe the pandemic could be contained in time for the Games, now scheduled to open on July 23, 2021.

A separate survey carried out over the weekend by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper found 33 percent of respondents backed holding the Games next year, with 61 percent supporting another postponement or cancellation.

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

The nationwide polls echo a separate survey carried out last month of Tokyo residents, which found just over half of respondents backed either further delay or cancellation.

Japanese and Olympic officials have made clear that a further postponement is not on the table.

But concerns are rising in Japan about a new wave of infections, with the capital Tokyo registering record numbers of daily new cases in recent days.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said last week the Tokyo Olympics could be "a unique milestone for the entire world" noting they "will be the first worldwide gathering after coronavirus."

But Bach warned that the unprecedented health situation meant multiple scenarios were being considered in planning the format for Tokyo.

He said the scenario of holding the Games without spectators was one that had been examined, although he stressed that he was opposed to the idea.

The telephone survey conducted by Kyodo News obtained responses from 1,045 people.

The Asahi poll published over the weekend obtained 2,097 responses in a telephone survey on Saturday and Sunday.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

Maybe 2022, but in the meantime the taxpayers must resist being billed by fat cats for cancellation fees.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The games can only happen if there's a vaccine. You can't hold the game's without a vaccine, could you imagine thousands of people coming to to Tokyo from all over the world at one time? It would be a perfect incubator for the virus to grow in.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

why not: 76.1 of Japanese don't want Olympics next year: poll ?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Does anyone actually think either Abe or Koike will give one crap about what the people think?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Only 23.9% of Japanese want Olympics next year: poll

Or “Only 33.7% of Japanese want Olympics cancelled: poll”

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” — Mark Twain

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Don’t want to say it’s karma but it’s increasingly looking like it.

I recall the majority of people were against Tokyo hosting the games when the campaigning began. However,after a massive media campaign by Dentsu and other big companies who would benefit from having the Olympics the people acquiesced.

Then there was Abe’s infamous ‘everything is under control’ speech about Fukushima.

Next on the list is the JOC being accused of bribing some African nations to get their vote.

Then the Olympic logo plagiarism scandal and the original design of the Olympic stadium being redesigned ostensibly to cut costs but probably more with getting a Japanese to design it rather than the foreigner who was initially chosen.

with the costs ballooning out of control it is looking more and more like karma.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Yeah, 76.1%of Japanese don't want Olympics next year should be the headline. Cancel the dam thing.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I think there's real cause to worry that the Olympics will distract the government from their most important task right now, which is handling the coronavirus situation. Priorities can get out of whack very easily when the IOC is involved.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

23.9 percent of respondent...wanted to see the 2020 Games held next year.... 36.4 percent of respondents back a further delay of the Games..

So overwhelming 60.3% of the Japanese people want the Olympic Game in Japan in one way or another.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Does anyone actually think either Abe or Koike will give one crap about what the people think?

exactly. answer is a big fat NO!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yeah, 76.1%of Japanese don't want Olympics next year should be the headline. Cancel the dam thing.

hear hear!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Reset the Olympic Calendar. Hold them in 2024. As I've said before I expect Paris would be grateful to get a 4 year extension as I expect LA would 4 years down the line from that. I can't speculate that this virus will worsen or burn itself out in a year from now and nor should anybody else. Nobody knows. So - saying that we can't hold an Olympics without a vaccine is a pointless statement.

Does anybody really think there will be a safe, working vaccine anytine on the next 5 years - or ever? Even one of the lead scientists from the Oxford group who are the first to see some early posistive results with their experimentation - did add the caveat on Television last night reminding us that we have yet to create a vaccine for any Corona Virus.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lets look for a 2nd at the IOC which has the slogan” healthy mind in a healthy body”. Going from that cancellation is the only thing to do.

2nd the games have become an anachronistic event altogether which most sports now having their own leagues and world championships.

No city or country still needs the games, in their current form, to promote its image to the world. The same actually goes for the even more outdated world expo format.

The games take 7 years of cost and investment for 16 days of events.

and all the social correctness about the paralympics is just fake positioning by I O C. If they really want to increase the interest in the Paralympics , the solution is very simple. Hold them prior to the Olympics not as an afterthought. But IOC is to scared, without reason, this would affect Tv ratings of the Olympics as they think people’s attention span is too short.

finally if IOC would care about well organized Olympics they would appoint 20 real experts , like myself, and send us from Olympiad to Olympiad to assist the local organisors. But that would save up to 75 % of the organising costs and that is the most far thing of the IOC’s intentions. The more money spend the more of it ends up in the places the IOC can profit from

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would suggest that the Japanese Government refrain from volunteering or suggesting cancellation.

That could render the nation liable to not only the initial costs and investments but substantial additional cancellation fees and compensation. Every interested party, sponsors, broadcasters, athletic and sports federations, they’ll all be crawling out the woodwork.

Explained fully and clearly, the poll results would have reflected these concerns.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem falls most on international visitors.

Going to a country (especially with your family ) to spend weeks watching games while travelling around isnt something you can plan on spot, it takes months to even an year or 2 in advance.

Japanese politicians are hoping corona goes away by this year and Japan opens up to the World, just a few months before the opening ceremony.

Too much rush and uncertainty... I would definitely give up the Olympics if it was held in a foreign country distant from Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The entourage from the US and China presents a major risk not to mention the rest of the world. No thank you.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Personally I've not been so excited, deeply attached to the Games, would play as a passive spectator if held.

My only and ongoing concern relates to top qualified athletes who have stayed "in limbo." Their performance peak is usually short-lived. Some have already decided to retire; more retirement would be inevitable due to delay or cancellation. I hope that they would be given an opportunity in any form (not necessarily through the Tokyo Games under trouble), their talents and efforts would be honored anyhow.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Comments like those from quercetum above off nothing to this discussion. We don't know where we willl be with this Virus in 3 months , let alone 6.

People may feel differently in 2024. This could be an Olympics to bring us all back together. Its already been paid for (with your taxes) - many of you moaned about them being used to fund 2020, and now you are happy to see the money go to waste! Do you think you are going to see a tax rebate?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So, they're going to allow foreigners to come to Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

why not: 76.1 of Japanese don't want Olympics next year: poll ?

Because a large percentage likely doesn't give a flying truck.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

After all those billions of taxpayers money spend they now don't want it anymore... Than keep working my Japanese slaves cos the Olympic bill is not fully paid yet.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If Olympics is held in Tokyo next year, govt would have to accept many foreigners to Japan, That's why most Japanese say "No" to such event. Everyone knows it is going to be super-pandemic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

""everyone knows its it is going to be a super-pandemic"". Well - thats a constructive comment. It already is- at this moment in time. Do you have a crystal ball to see where it might be next summer, or 2022, or 2024? Are you a scientist? Please define ""everyone""

By the way, I do agree that they shouldn't take place next year but I don't think that Tokyo should be denied the chamce to hold the games. Attitiude towards holding it will return to being positive IF it can put back further.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bummer for the athletes and all they've worked for their whole lives (but obviously necessary if things keep going as they have been)...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The government has already got what it wanted from the Olympics, big contracts for friends. The actual games are just cover for largess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nobody wants a higher risk of infection or death.There is certainly more than one viral corona virus out there and bringing those strains back to Japan to recombine could be the perfect storm.

Having a sports event is just not worth the risk...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Whether you want the damn thing to go ahead or not, one thing for sure is that you are going to be paying for them for years to come. "Privatized profits, Socialized losses"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Personally I don't think this virus crisis is a serious as it's made out to be, and that the Games could be held safely next year with reasonable precautions that don't resemble a police state.

That said, considering all the sunk costs on infrastructure and the like, it would be the least-worst option to reset the clock to 2024 and hold the event in Tokyo in 2024, Paris in 2028 and so forth. It would also give time for the Japanese to vote in someone with a bit of commonsense (unlikely, but we live in hope) to shift the slot from July to something more sane, like October (again, unlikely...).

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Cancel it or not, every minute your tax money is being spent on the Olympics. Just because it is postponed, 40,000 IOC staff are still getting paid. Hotels, business class travel and expenses. That doesn’t include bribes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It would be a perfect incubator for the virus to grow in.

Rename to “2020+1 Tokyo Diamond Princess Olympic Games”.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fear of a continual dragging of Covid-19 and its possible new strains have encroached into the mind of most Japanese, so much so that 1/3 prefer Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled, and only

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I guess they'll need to set up some kind of a pre-olympics quarantine camp for all of the incoming athletes from around the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unless there is a vaccine and a wholesale change in the attitude of the Ministry of Justice toward allowing foreigners to enter the country, it is going to be very poorly attended anyway. But who could forego a surfing event at Enoshima, with its towering 2 meter waves, during the dog days of Summer?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But who could forego a surfing event at Enoshima, with its towering 2 meter waves, during the dog days of Summer?

Yeah, those Hawaiians must be so jealous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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