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Survey: Nearly Four in Five Japanese Say Tokyo 2020 Cannot be Held Next Year

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A poster promoting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is posted next to a train door as a commuter wearing a mask looks at his phone on a train in Tokyo. Photo: Photo/Jae C. Hong

By Michael Houston |

A new survey polling Japanese residents has found that 77 percent of those questioned believe that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics “cannot be held” next year.

The poll, conducted by the Japan News Network, suggested that only 17 percent believe that the postponed Games can take place in 2021.

Originally scheduled to take place this year, Tokyo 2020 was delayed by a year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and organizers in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

No reasoning was suggested by the survey as to why so many believe the Games cannot go ahead.

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 have pledged that next year’s Games will be simplified due to the ongoing financial issues caused by the pandemic.

Re-arranging the Olympics and Paralympics is a huge logistical challenge and there are fears that the global health crisis will not have subsided to a suitable level by 2021.

Others have claimed that a vaccine will be required for the Games to go ahead safely, with the Olympics due to start on July 23.

Another survey, run last month by Kyodo News and the Tokyo MX television channel, found that more than half of Tokyo residents do not want Tokyo 2020 to go ahead next year.

There has also been an upturn in daily COVID-19 cases in the Japanese capital after it recorded some of its lowest daily rates in June.

Governor Yuriko Koike, who yesterday was re-elected for a second term, opened businesses again two weeks ago with the spike linked to the relaxing of the rules.

From July 2 to 5, the city recorded four straight days of more than 100 new daily cases with the most recent peak coming on July 4, with 131.

When Koike announced the opening of businesses again on June 19, there were 35 daily cases.

In Japan to date, there have been more than 19,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of 977 people.

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 have repeatedly said that the Games will not be postponed again if they cannot take place in 2021.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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