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Only 9% of people across Japan want Tokyo Games held as scheduled: Mainichi poll

The Olympic rings are seen in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)

TOKYO -- Only 9% of people across Japan polled by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center on March 13 said the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should be held as scheduled, while 32% said they should be canceled.

    In response to a question about the Tokyo Games, planned to be held this summer, 32% of respondents -- the biggest group -- answered they "should be canceled," and 17% said the games "should be postponed again." Those in favor of going ahead with the games as scheduled remained low at 9%, while 21% said "they should be held without letting in spectators from overseas," and 15% said "they should be held without letting in any fans, including those living in Japan." Six percent of respondents answered they "don't know."

    The Japanese government has remained intent on holding the Tokyo Olympics, and is arranging to forego accepting spectators from abroad, considering the spread of the coronavirus. The government has not settled on a conclusion over whether restrictions should be placed on domestic fans, which would result in a spectator-less games. Although the figures cannot be simply compared as survey methods differ, a June 2020 poll found 59% of respondents saying, "I think the games cannot be held," far surpassing the 21% who indicated their belief that they will be able to be carried out.

    When asked about changes in the state of household finances after one year has passed since the spread of the coronavirus, 32% said their monetary situation has "gotten worse," 65% said it "has not changed," and 3% responded that it has "gotten better." Broken down by occupation, 50% of "self-employed" or "freelance workers" and nearly 40% of "nonregular workers" answered that their financial status worsened. As for "regular workers" and "stay-at-home spouses," 30% claimed a negative impact on household finances, while nearly 30% of "unemployed individuals" responded likewise.

    Meanwhile, to a question asking whether they intended to continue being mindful of incorporating anti-coronavirus measures in their daily lives, 78% answered that they "plan to continue" doing so. Eighteen percent expressed their intention to "gradually take a relaxed approach," and 2% said they have "already been relaxing measures." One percent of respondents also said, "I'm not mindful of taking anti-coronavirus measures." While many people continuously value preventative measures against infection, there also seem to be a certain number of individuals who have grown tired of taking self-restraint measures for long periods.

    Over five years have passed since the implementation of the women's career advancement promotion law, which requires major companies, the national government, and local municipalities to set numerical targets for hiring women in managerial positions. To a question asking respondents if they think there has been progress in women's participation in Japanese society, 37% answered "there has been no advancement," while 47% said, "there has been an improvement, but it's insufficient." Only 16% said "there has been sufficient progress." When viewed by gender, those who indicated "no progress" accounted for 33% of male respondents and 43% of their female counterparts. Twenty percent of men answered there has been "sufficient progress," while only 9% of women gave such a response, showing a wide gap between the opinions of women and men.

    Regarding the implementation of a system allowing married couples to choose between having the same last names or separate ones, 51% were in favor of having the choice, while 23% were against it and 26% said they're "not sure."

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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