Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that he had never “hosted the Olympic Games in the first place.” On the same day, a poll showed that nearly 60% of people in Japan hope to cancel the Olympics less than three months before the start of the Olympics.
Japan has extended the state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of May and is working to contain the surge in COVID-1
International Olympic officials, Tokyo planners and Suga himself insisted that the Olympics will be conducted in a “safe and reliable” manner. Foreign audiences have been banned, and planners released an exhaustive rule book last month aimed at preventing coronavirus infection.
However, a poll conducted by the “Yomiuri Shimbun” from May 7 to 9 showed that 59% of people wanted to cancel the Olympics, while 39% said that the Olympics should be cancelled. No “postpone” is provided as an option.
Another poll conducted by TBS News over the weekend found that 65% of people wanted the Olympics to be cancelled or postponed, 37% voted to cancel the event completely, and 28% asked to postpone the game again. Since the opening of the Olympics, in about five days, 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of the Olympics.
Even when the COVID-19 infection rate was soaring, when asked at a parliamentary committee meeting, Suga replied: “I never put the Olympics first.”
He added: “My priority is to protect the lives and health of the Japanese population. We must first prevent the spread of the virus.”
He reiterated that the International Olympic Committee has the final say on the fate of the Olympics, and the role of the government is to take steps to make it safe to hold. Several test events with foreign athletes have been successfully held, the most recent being on Sunday.
According to media reports, the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, is being arranged to visit Japan in mid-May and plans to visit Japan in June, with the lifting of the state of emergency as a prerequisite.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said last week that Bach’s visit in a state of emergency will be “difficult”.
An official in western Okayama Prefecture said on Monday that they are considering keeping the torch relay on public roads when they pass the Olympics next week. Although other states have adopted similar measures, they were in a state of emergency or other restrictive conditions at the time.
Senior Olympic official John Coates said on Saturday that although Japan’s views on the Olympics are “worrisome”, he cannot foresee that the sporting event will continue.read more
But on Sunday, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka Osaka said that although she has waited all her life to participate in the Olympics, she should seriously discuss the risks of hosting the Tokyo Olympics.read more
The Olympic Games will open on July 23 and will last until August 8.
Our standard: “Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.”