(Asia News) Tokyo, Japan – A majority of Japanese people oppose holding the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year. They are favouring an additional delay or outright cancellation of the huge event, new polling showed Tuesday.
A change of heart
The new data shows public sentiment has shifted little since the summer. Back then, surveys in Japan also found only a minority backing plans to carry out the Games next year. Even despite the approaching arrival of recent vaccines.
A poll released Tuesday by national broadcaster NHK found just 27 per cent of respondents support holding the Games next year. The others are 32 per cent backing cancellation and 31 per cent favouring an extra postponement.
The remaining respondents said they were unsure or gave no answer.
Olympic organizers actions
Olympic organizers and Japanese officials have ruled out to any extent further delay of the Games, which are the primary in history to be postponed during peacetime.
They have insisted Tokyo 2020 is held whether or not the pandemic isn’t in check by the new opening date of July 23, 2021.
However, the Japanese public doesn’t appear convinced.
A poll published on Monday by the Jiji agency similarly found 21 per cent favouring a cancellation and nearly 30 per cent an extra delay.
And a Kyodo news organization poll published on Dec 6 also found a complete of 61.2 per cent negative holding the Games next year.
The figure comes with just over seven months to travel until the postponed Games are scheduled to open.
The start of vaccination campaigns in some parts of the planet has boosted the boldness of organizers. They are confident that the Games can plow ahead, though inoculation won’t be mandatory for athletes or spectators.
But while there is an extending vaccine, new waves of the virus are surging in many places. Even Japan, which has seen a relatively low toll from the outbreak, recording fewer than 2,600 deaths up to now.
Postponing the Games and devising coronavirus countermeasures has proved a logistical nightmare for the organizers, and carries a costly price.
The delay and health measures will add a minimum of an additional $2.4 billion to the current $13 billion allowances for the Games.
The organizers will release an update on the budget later this month. However, there are hot disputes for the figures of the price. This is because an audit report last year estimates the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.
Organizers countered that the estimate included items in a roundabout way associated with the Games.
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