Story at a glance
- Conducted by two media outlets, the survey found about 80 percent of Japanese residents said the Tokyo Olympics should not go on in the summer of 2021.
- Japan is grappling with record high new COVID-19 cases.
More than 80 percent of people living in Japan think that the Tokyo Olympics should be postponed or canceled until the COVID-19 pandemic has sufficiently slowed, The Associated Press reports.
The data comes from two surveys conducted by Japanese news agency Kyodo and the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).
TBS’s national survey reportedly asked via telephone calls if the Olympics can be held amid the ongoing pandemic.
Of 1,261 respondents, 81 percent replied “no” and 13 percent said “yes.”
The Kyodo poll yielded similar results, with 80.1 percent of 715 respondents saying the games should be rescheduled or cancelled outright.
The Tokyo Olympics were intended to be held during the summer of 2020, but were ultimately postponed due to the continued spread of COVID-19. Currently, the International Olympic Committee aims to host the Olympics in Japan’s capital on July 23.
Like many other countries, Japan is struggling with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the new year after maintaining relative control throughout most of 2020. Johns Hopkins data reveals that the country saw the highest new case count on Jan. 8, reporting 7,863 new confirmed COVID-19 infections.
Public health officials from Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases confirmed that it detected a new mutation of COVID-19 from four travelers coming into the nation from Brazil. The new variant is being compared to other new, more contagious strains identified in the U.K. and South Africa.
Little is known about the genetic makeup of Japan’s new COVID-19 strain.
In light of rising cases and a new virus variant, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a national emergency last week. He reportedly said he anticipates the upcoming Olympic celebrations to be canceled.