Tokyo Olympics and declining interest with two-thirds favoring no games next year
Kanako Mita and Chika Mori
Modern Tokyo Times
According to several polls, the gradual disinterest in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics rescheduled for next year is increasing. Of course, the polls vary in size but all are showing an increasing lack of interest.
The NHK poll surveyed 1,300 people and two-thirds either want the games to be canceled outright – or to be further postponed. This should worry the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike because people’s focus is on getting through the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
Delaying the Olympics another year polled 35 percent compared to 31 percent who want the event canceled. Meanwhile, 26 percent of people favored the rescheduled Olympics to take place next year. Others were undecided to various degrees.
Of course, it is important to remember that the current increase in new coronavirus cases will be impacting on this poll. Equally, if another economic lockdown emerged in August or a later date, this would increase the negative economic angle. However, in the opposite direction, if anti-viral drugs, a decline in cases of coronavirus, and a possible vaccine emerged then more people wouldn’t worry so much.
Hence, the prevailing conditions dictate negativity. In saying this, some individuals have always been lukewarm to the Olympics in Tokyo because of various factors. After all, does Tokyo need the Olympics given that it is an ultra-modern city?
Interestingly, roughly one in seven people who are negative about the situation site economic factors. Thus they believe that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government should focus on spending resources to fight coronavirus.
Meanwhile, 68 percent sited the fear that the coronavirus crisis will continue internationally – even if not internally – next year. Hence, 14 percent of this 68 percent believe that the international angle will threaten new infections next year.
Overall, if negative news about the coronavirus continues in Japan and internationally towards the end of the year, the fear factor will grow. Similarly, the economic angle will further add pressure to a downsized Olympics even if they go ahead.
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