An overwhelming majority of the Japanese population believes the upcoming Summer Games should either be postponed further or scrapped altogether due to Covid-19 concerns, a new survey has shown.
The Japanese appear to be quite wary of the Olympics and Paralympics, expected to be held in Tokyo this summer, according to a fresh survey by the Japan Press Research Institute. The projections are based on a poll conducted among some 3,000 people aged 18 or older.
Nearly 38 percent of respondents said the Olympics should be cancelled altogether, while a further 34 percent believe the event should be delayed again. The Games were initially scheduled to take place last summer, but they were postponed for a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
More than 83 percent of those who opposed holding the Games this summer believe the sporting event would bring way too many people into the country from all over the world, leading to a sharp increase in the virus’ spread. Moreover, some 64 percent believe there is simply no prospect of the pandemic being contained any time soon.
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If the Games are delayed again or ultimately scrapped, the preparations made so far would be an utter waste of time and resources, some 45 percent of respondents believe. Japan has spent some $25 billion on constructing sporting venues, infrastructure, and other preparations for the event.
The public sentiment does not correspond with the official stance of the country’s government, though. Responding to recent reports that the country has been looking for a “face-saving” way to announce the cancellation of the Games, Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai insisted that there was “no truth” in such claims, while PM Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo remains “determined” to see the event through.
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