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Over 60% say Tokyo Olympics should be 'canceled' or 'postponed again': Mainichi poll

Part of the Olympic logo is seen in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)

TOKYO -- More than 60% of respondents in a nationwide poll have said that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games should be either "canceled" or "postponed again."

    In the poll conducted on May 22 by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center, 40% of respondents-- the largest group -- said that the games should be "canceled." This was 11 percentage points higher than in the previous poll conducted on April 18. The next most common answer was that "the Olympic and Paralympic Games should be postponed again" at 23%, 4 points up from last month.

    Regarding the current plan to hold the games without spectators from abroad, 20% of respondents said the plan was "appropriate" -- 14 points down from April -- while 13% said "they should be held without domestic spectators, either" -- 1 point down. Another 3% said they were "not sure" -- also 1 point down.

    In a question asking people if they thought striking a balance between the Tokyo Games and coronavirus countermeasures was possible, 21% answered they thought it was "possible," while 71% selected the answer: "Coronavirus countermeasures should be prioritized because they cannot have it both ways." Two percent chose the option: "The Tokyo Olympics should be prioritized because they cannot have it both ways." The remaining 6% of respondents were "not sure." Though International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates stated on May 21 that the Tokyo Games can be held even under a coronavirus state of emergency in Japan, there seems to be a huge gap between his opinion and public opinion in Japan.

    Regarding the torch relay, which has been underway since March and is set to pass through all of Japan's 47 prefectures, 16% of respondents said they "want it to continue" while 71% said there was "no need to continue it against reason." A total of 13% said they were "not interested" in it. Though the torch relay will last until July 23, the planned date of the Olympic opening ceremony, there have been a series of cases in which people have withdrawn as torch bearers, and relay routes on public roads have been canceled in many areas due to the spread of the coronavirus.

    The survey was carried out via SMS texts on mobile phones and automated interactive voice responses on landlines, and valid responses were obtained from 695 people on cell phones and 337 people on landlines.

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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