One-third of Japanese oppose holding Olympics in 2021: NHK poll
Most in Japan oppose holding Olympics in 2021: polls
Published: Dec 15, 2020 05:53 PM
A majority of Japanese people oppose holding the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021, favoring a further delay or outright cancellation of the massive event, new polling showed on Tuesday.

A man wearing protective face masks walk past the logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on a wall of The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan, March 25, 2020.Photo:Xinhua

The new data shows public sentiment has shifted little since the summer, when surveys in Japan also found only a minority backing plans to hold the Games in 2021, despite the imminent arrival of new vaccines.

A poll released Tuesday by national broadcaster NHK found just 27 percent of respondents support holding the Games in 2021, with 32 percent backing cancellation and 31 percent favoring a further postponement.

The remaining respondents said they were unsure or gave no answer.

Olympic organizers and Japanese officials have ruled out any further delay of the Games, which are the first in history to be postponed during peacetime.

They have insisted Tokyo 2020 can be held even if the pandemic is not under control by the new opening date of July 23, 2021. But the Japanese public do not appear convinced.

A poll published on Monday by the Jiji press agency similarly found 21 percent favoring a cancellation and nearly 30 percent a further delay. And a Kyodo news agency poll published December 6 also found a total of 61.2 percent opposed to holding the Games in 2021.

The figure comes with just over seven months to go until the postponed Games are scheduled to open. 

The start of vaccination campaigns in some parts of the world has boosted the confidence of organizers that the Games can go ahead, though inoculation will not be mandatory for athletes or spectators.