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Tokyo 2020

From 80% to 48%: How the opposition against Tokyo Olympics dropped significantly

While the outrage against hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has not subsided completely, it certainly seems to have been decelerated.

The Olympic Rings at Tokyo Bay
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The Olympic Rings at Tokyo Bay

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-07-21T13:50:11+05:30

Almost all the public opinion polls conducted by various media houses in Japan since the start of this year regarding the country's decision of hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has shown strong opposition by the locals.

In fact, a majority of these polls showcased that a bulk of the Japanese population wanted the Tokyo Olympics to be either postponed or cancelled yet again. In fact, a survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun – a local Japanese daily, somewhere around mid-May found that more than 80% of the local population wanted the Olympics to be either cancelled or postponed yet again.

This was a time when the covid-19 cases were on the rise in Japan and across the world, and the Japanese believed that the congregation of athletes along with related support staffs would provide a perfect breeding ground for the coronavirus to mutate and spread even more dangerously. This is a very valid point of concern put across by the Japanese citizens, the past one and half year if anything has shown us how deadly covid-19 can be if anything.

But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government, on the other hand, seemed adamant about hosting the Olympics.

Credits to this attitude from the IOC and the ruling government, Japan has witnessed various protests over the past couple of months asking for the Olympics to be cancelled or postponed. Quite a few health experts in the country have come forward and stated that hosting the Olympics under the prevailing circumstances would lead to a great catastrophe, not only for Japan but for the entire world. Besides, top businessmen and sportspersons from the country have also pushed for the cancellation of the Games, and many prefectures have refused to host athletes during the course of their stay in the country.

None of this seemed to have mattered to the IOC, which has maintained that they will conduct the Games, come what may. Now, with less than 30 days to go for the Olympics, this unwavering stance of IOC seemed to have taken the steam off the opposition against the quadrennial event.

In the most recent opinion poll, which was published on 7th June 2021 by Yomiuri Shimbun, it was found that only 48% of the Japanese wanted the Olympics to be cancelled. Postponement was not given as an option in this survey.

While the outrage against hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has not subsided completely, it certainly seems to have been decelerated.

Quite frankly, hosting the Olympics under the prevailing circumstances is highly risky. But with the IOC resolute on its decision, all we can do is hope for a covid-19 immune Olympics.


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