Tokyo residents want Olympics to be postponed again

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, June 28: A telephone survey carried out by two Japanese media publications revealed that just over half of Tokyo's residents do not think the postponed 2020 Olympics should be held next year.

The survey results back either a further delay or outright cancellation because of fears over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The telephone survey, conducted by Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television between June 26-28, received 1,030 replies.

The survey 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 survey conducted over the weekend found 51.7 per cent of respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3 per cent want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead.

Among those opposed to a 2021 Games, 27.7 per cent said they want them cancelled altogether, while 24 per cent would prefer a second postponement.

Of those who said they want to see the Games held next year, 31.1 per cent said the event should be in a scaled-back form, including without spectators, while 15.2 per cent 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.

Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics put off

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 (IOC) have warned it will not be possible to postpone again, and even the year-long delay has created significant financial and logistical headaches.

Postponed Tokyo Olympics could be downsized and simplified

The poll, conducted ahead of the Tokyo governor election on July 5, also found incumbent Yuriko Koike leading her opponents by a large margin.

Her precise lead was not specified, in keeping with a media tradition of not publishing polling figures in the days before a vote.

Koike has been heavily involved in preparations for the Games, travelling to Rio for the handover ceremony after the last Summer Olympics.

Earlier this month, she told AFP news agency that the rescheduled Olympics will be safe despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read:

'Every sport needs a Sachin Tendulkar for India to become an Olympic power'

Coronavirus in sport: New York City Marathon cancelled

Interview! Table Tennis star Manav Thakkar wishes to emulate MS Dhoni's calm demeanour, eyes Olympic qualification