Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Majority Japanese oppose Olympics

Majority Japanese oppose Olympics

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Olympic rings are reinstalled at the waterfront in Tokyo on December 1, 2020. AFP

Majority Japanese oppose Olympics

A majority of Japanese people oppose holding the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year, favouring a further delay or outright cancellation of the massive event, new polling showed Tuesday.

The new data show public sentiment has shifted little since the summer, when surveys in Japan also found only a minority backing plans to hold the Games next year, despite the imminent arrival of new vaccines.

A poll released on Tuesday by national broadcaster NHK found just 27 percent of respondents support holding the Games next year, with 32 percent backing cancellation and 31 percent favouring a further postponement.

The remaining respondents said they were unsure or gave no answer.

Olympic organisers and Japanese officials have ruled out any further delay of the Games, which are the first in history to be postponed during peacetime.

They have insisted Tokyo 2020 can be held even if the pandemic is not under control by the new opening date of July 23, 2021.

But the Japanese public do not appear convinced.

A poll published on Monday by the Jiji press agency similarly found 21 per cent favouring a cancellation and nearly 30 per cent a further delay.

And a Kyodo news agency poll published December 6 also found a total of 61.2 per cent opposed to holding the Games next year.

The figure comes with just over seven months to go until the postponed Games are scheduled to open.

The start of vaccination campaigns in some parts of the world has boosted the confidence of organisers that the Games can go ahead, though innoculation will not be mandatory for athletes or spectators.

But even as the vaccines are being rolled out, new waves of the virus are surging in many places, including Japan, which has seen a comparatively low toll from the outbreak, recording fewer than 2,600 deaths so far.

Postponing the Games and devising coronavirus countermeasures has proved a logistical nightmare for organisers, and carries a steep price tag.

The delay and health measures will add at least an extra $2.4 billion to the existing $13 billion budget for the Games.

Organisers are due to release an updated budget later this month, but their figures for the cost have been hotly disputed, with an audit report last year estimating the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.

Organisers countered that the estimate included items not directly related to the Games.


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could