An opinion poll has revealed falling support for holding the Tokyo Olympics this year Photo: AFP
sports

Support for Olympics hits new low in Japan: poll

50 Comments
By Behrouz MEHRI

Support for holding the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer has hit a new low in Japan, a poll found Sunday as the country battles a third wave of infections.

Just over 80 percent of those asked by Kyodo news agency said the huge global event should be cancelled or postponed again -- a jump from around 60 percent in a December 6 survey by the same outlet.

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

Tokyo 2020 organizers have said another delay is out of the question and are insisting the Games will go ahead despite a state of emergency declared in the greater Tokyo area over a surge in COVID-19 cases.

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

The month-long emergency in the capital and surrounding regions is less strict than harsh lockdowns seen elsewhere in the world and primarily targets restaurants and bars, which have been asked to close early.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said last week that Japan is committed to holding a "safe and secure" 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 toward 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.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
Login to comment

If Japan had started to do mass vaccinations already like many other countries then I think the Olympics could have gone ahead but as they might only start limited vaccination at the end of February then I think its too late for them to be held. Government only have themselves to blame for this outcome.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

the Olympics ain't going to happen this year... a good chance to reflect if the whole circus is even needed in it's current bloated form.

30 ( +31 / -1 )

I admit experiencing schadenfreude over this. My support for the Tokyo Olympics was rock-bottom a decade ago, the day I heard that Tokyo was making its bid, and has been ever since.

30 ( +33 / -3 )

Didn't deserve the Olympics in the first place. Obvious bribery involved.

Karma

25 ( +29 / -4 )

The real question is, what is the 20% thinking?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Just from an athlete's/participant's perspective I heard an interview with the captain of the Matildas, the Australian women's soccer team, over the weekend and she said the team hasn't played or met together in nearly twelve months, have no "friendly" matches scheduled for Olympic preparation and have more than several players living and playing abroad. Some are in England where the strict lockdown may continue until March. In summary she said the Tokyo Olympics is more or less "unthinkable".

29 ( +29 / -0 )

International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound told the BBC he could

Is this the same Dick Pound who said athletes should be prioritized for vaccines?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

In summary she said the Tokyo Olympics is more or less "unthinkable".

Never underestimate the greed and contempt for the people by this government. Look at the Sumo Tournament. Over 25% of the wrestlers infected, but they still went ahead with it without any changes whatsoever.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

tamanegiToday  07:15 am JST

Just from an athlete's/participant's perspective I heard an interview with the captain of the Matildas, the Australian women's soccer team, over the weekend and she said the team hasn't played or met together in nearly twelve months, have no "friendly" matches scheduled for Olympic preparation and have more than several players living and playing abroad. Some are in England where the strict lockdown may continue until March. In summary she said the Tokyo Olympics is more or less "unthinkable".

Olympic Games used to be held with the Winter and Summer Games held in the same year. Then after the 1992 Summer Games in France the Committee decided to split Olympiads by 2 years and 1994 had the next Winter Games and 1996 Summer.

If the Tokyo Games get set back to 2022 the Olympic Games will be having the Winter and Summer Games back in the same year. That might be better in the long run, out of necessity.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I found an article in the Sydney Morning Herald to support what I stated earlier about the Australian women's soccer team.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/unthinkable-to-imagine-matildas-playing-in-tokyo-says-aussie-star-catley-20210109-p56suu.html

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Didn't deserve the Olympics in the first place. Obvious bribery involved.

Karma

Karma it must be. From the very start Tokyo 2020 has been jinxed, from rising costs, problems with stadiums (Japan still owes money to the company who designed the initial stadium). Even Japans monarchy have used the games as an excuse to delay (stop) a marriage. Then problems with flags. And finally Convid-19.

A cancelled Olympics will however give Japan other things to focus on, such as an urgent need for legal reform.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Just over 80 percent of those asked by Kyodo news agency said the huge global event should be cancelled

while a survey released in December by national broadcaster NHK found that only 27 percent of respondents supported holding the Games in 2021.

Kyodo said 80%, NHK said 73% so public support already low. Organizer still doesn't get it?

while some 45 percent said the event should be postponed a second time.

Postponement have it|s own cost, some of them will use tax money, do these 45% percent responded know this?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There’s no way the Olympics will go ahead with new variants of coronavirus spreading around the world. The IOC and the JOC and the Japanese government are waiting for the right moment to announce a cancellation or postponement of the 2021 games.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I wish they would stop with the late night random calls for polling.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Just throw in the towel and call it quits. Do not postpone again, just quit NOW.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Support for the Olympics is dropping lockstep with support for Suga. Probably if he had taken Covid seriously the two wouldn’t be so correlated. Anyway...

Remember way back in 2019 when the thing that wound everyone up so much was the stupidity of holding marathons and other events in Tokyo’s sweltering July heat? We were so innocent, I long for those days when that was all we had to worry about. Now they are planning on holding them in the same heat, and also with a deadly pandemic which is very unlikely to be under control by then flying around.

They keep harping on about the Games lifting everyone’s spirits as a sign of our defeat of the pandemic, but the reality is they are just a depressing reminder of how little the ruling elite here are doing to make that defeat happen.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Just cancel the damn olympics. But Suga will wait until the very last minute to act. Even Koike will have to concede very soon that it is going to be a complete disaster if it goes ahead.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Dick Pound told the BBC 

Dunno, I'd go by Robert, especially in this situation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But Suga will wait until the very last minute to act.

My feeling Suga won't act. Most likely his successor.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Japan had started to do mass vaccinations already like many other countries 

MAJOR misconception, out of all the countries in the world, there are still VERY few that are vaccinating for the virus.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

MAJOR misconception, out of all the countries in the world, there are still VERY few that are vaccinating for the virus.

Most, if not all, G20 countries have started. There is no excuse for the world's 3rd largest economy not to.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If Japan had started to do mass vaccinations already like many other countries then I think the Olympics could have gone ahead

No evidence that, mass vaccination will work (apart from on healthy under 55yr olds on short term testing), and as some vaccination CEO’s admit that the current vaccines may not work after 6 months. Some govt are also implicating giving one dose and delaying the administration of the second against strong advice from drug company researchers. People from 3rd world countries probably have no access to inoculation and Virus tests accuracy vary, usually around 60%.

you can’t sue drug companies for serious side effects or death.

then there is the socio-human perspective...around 45% of people will not take a vaccine right now.

don't want to go on about Mutations...currently 3 New in 2 months with no clinical trials...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Most, if not all, G20 countries have started. There is no excuse for the world's 3rd largest economy not to.

Started, and "mass" are two different things, not to mention a DOZEN countries is not a lot!

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/24/vaccine-rollout-which-countries-have-started

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Goodlucktoyou

No evidence that, mass vaccination will work

The Pharma companies tested the vaccine, and produced the scientific evidence to governments for their approval. No vaccine is 100% but the Pharma say the Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective which is high for a new drug.

All the Pharma companies producing the non for profit vaccines are committed to supplying all poor countries too.

Because of the short term in testing the vaccine the Pharma required the governments carry the liabilities. The vaccines are effective against the mutant virus.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No evidence that, mass vaccination will work

Yeah, it's not like humans have ever run vaccination programs to get rid of viruses before. That's silly talk.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Without the Olympics, we lose the urgency to get vaccinations rolling, and with that a resumption of international travel. If they are canceled, don't expect to get a vaccine till next year at the earliest. Which means no chance of visiting your relatives in the near future.

I would rather the Olympics go ahead so I can get my vaccine and get out of here in the summer. Without that, there's a good chance we'll all be stuck here till god knows when.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No evidence that, mass vaccination will work

I’m actually referring to these new short term tested vaccines. I took Hep B vaccine and I have been safe all my life. Not an anti-vaxxer.

The vaccines are effective against the mutant virus.

Can I really take this seriously? So far there are 3 new RECENT mutations. Clinical Stage 3 testing requires over 28000 human trials. In less than a month?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Easily solved.

Let Tokyo have the 2024 Olympics and shift Paris and LA by 4 years.

This ensures the financial burden isn’t only on Tokyo and gives the world a chance to recover from COVID.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Anyone supporting the Tokyo Olympics at the point is either missing their brain or their heart if not both. The IOC is nothing more than a parasite that sucks money out of its host city. They are evil in any situation but to force the games on Tokyo when the country is looking at the possibility of financial collapse is beyond anything I would have expected. Suga would be wise to follow Sweden in regards to how the Northern European country handled the IOC and their ridiculous demands to host the winter games. In a Sports Illustrated article that the IOC tried desperately to bury, the IOC found their bags in the lobby and were told to take buses back to the airport after reviewing the IOC’s obscene requirements.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The real question is, what is the 20% thinking?

This is a telephone survey, so it will be mostly old people who have a land line and pick it up when it rings. Change the demographic, and I think you'd find more opposition.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@MrHeisei

No, Japan doesn't deserve the Olympics now and should be banned from holding them in the future. Utter contempt for human life and people's welfare.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Never underestimate the greed and contempt for the people by this government.

There's only money to be made if sponsors cough it up. If, for example, the US network who won broadcasting rights decided that an Olympics with no, or limited audience, or Games without all countries represented was not fit to be held, and therefore would not be paying for the rights, there would be little profit for the greedy government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Suga, Koike and the corporate powers are dug in like ticks on this issue. They will hold the Olympics, economic and health consequences be damned, because there is no political opposition to fear in Japan and they can thus get away with anything they like.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And yet, they will still insist it is "for the people" despite the will of the people being the opposite, and it ALWAYS has been. They've milked the Tohoku disasters for it, the nuclear bombings, and now say it will be representative of "overcoming" covid-19, which has still barely started to do its damage with a third variant.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's not going to happen, Sports day is canceled. Trillions of yen lost. How's that reconstruction going?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A reasonable person will assume that even if the virus is under control before the Olympics, holding such a large in-person event will restart the pandemic and ruin all the hard work. I would support an athletes-only Olympics and definitely cancel the next Olympics in China.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

With new variants of virus emerging here and there, there is no guarantee that they will disappear in several months' time. As such, it would be best to postpone the Olympics indefinitely.

Saving lives should be much more crucial and essential than playing games..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm truly surprised that anyone would still be supporting this. Must have mainly interviewed all the people who took bribes, work for Dentsu or the IOC or are in the government.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Mocheake,

Great comments.

I fully agree with you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Remember folks..The IOC member from Canada said that Athletes should have the vaccine before anyone else! I bet he already had his! In other news, I vote to cancel the Olympics...not delay them. Count me in coach!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is this where I kick and scream about how they should be cancelled? Don't worry people! The IOC rep from Canada said Olympic Athletes around the world should have priority over any for the COVID shot! I wonder if he gave up his shot and gave it to an athlete..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Reckless

Why cancel the winter Olympics in China? They're doing a much better job when it comes to Coronavirus than Japan has so far.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I think cancelling the olympics is a foregone conclusion at this point. Unfortunately Suga and his friends are sitting in a soundproof room like George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor Soldier Spy ignoring the chorus of disapproval.

Most likely he will act at the last moment, when he can pivot and put the blame on the athletes not coming or basically anyone else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Since the torch relay is scheduled to start on March 25, the decision to cancel will have to be made before then, just as it was last year when they postponed the Games. But the IOC makes decision, not the Japanese government. So I imagine there are a lot of phone calls going back and forth between the IOC chief Thomas Bach, the Japan Olympic Committee and Prime Minister Suga. They'll probably tell Koike after the decision is made. I remember how livid she was when they shifted the marathon to Sapporo without informing her in advance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most likely he will act at the last moment, when he can pivot and put the blame on the athletes not coming or basically anyone else.

THat would be commensurate of the way Japan behaves. It's everybody elses fault, not ours. I would not be suprised if Japan started demanding compensation if (when) the games are cancelled.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suga can't make a decision. You've seen him looking down at prewritten notes every time he talks, that means all the questions have been submitted beforehand so that he has a chance to ask his master what to say.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said last week that Japan is committed to holding a "safe and secure" Olympics.

We have to believe and trust Suga-san as our competent and elected leader. Just because his face is unappealing don't judge him so harshly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

IT WON'T HAPPEN!! The government expect people to confine themesleves to their homes and not go out except to work but on the other hand expect them to come out and support to olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No Olympics period.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zoroto:

Over 25% of the wrestlers infected, but they still went ahead with it without any changes whatsoever.

And obesity is one of the underlying health conditions which puts you in the high risk category. But please, go ahead.

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