Tags: Coronavirus | japan | tokyo | olympics | games | coronavirus

Poll: Most Japanese Want Tokyo Olympics Postponed Over Virus

pedestrians in tokyo wear masks and walk past a 2020 olympic sign
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past advertising of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Yokohama on March 16, 2020. (Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 March 2020 06:14 PM

Olympic organizers insist the Tokyo games will go on as scheduled, but many people in Japan say they should be postponed because of the coronavirus epidemic, according to polls. 

A Kyodo News poll on Monday showed 70% of those responding said the Olympics can't go on as planned, while 25% said they want the games to go on, and online surveys by two newspapers last week each found that 60% want the games to be delayed. Fewer than 20% want them to open on schedule on July 24, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The virus is already causing qualification and warm-up events to be canceled, and worldwide, professional sports leagues are not playing. The Japanese Volleyball Association said Monday it will cancel its test matches in late April that would have been held to prepare for the Olympics. 

President Donald Trump last week asked that the games be delayed, but early Tuesday in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations want the games to be held in Tokyo "as a symbol of the world conquering the novel coronavirus." Abe wouldn't say when they should be held. 

The virus is also affecting the traditional proceedings of the Olympics, however, including the initial start of the torch relay in Greece last week. The flame is set to arrive in Japan on Friday, but the ceremonies have been scaled back. 

However, people in Japan worry that canceling the games altogether would create a huge hit on the country's economy, as it would keep the country from making billions of dollars from athletes, officials, and spectators. 

Japan, meanwhile, has suffered a lighter hit from the virus, having more than 800 confirmed cases, a low number when compared to other countries, including the United States, and many are worried visiting spectators and athletes from around the world could bring the virus back into the country. 

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Olympic organizers insist the Tokyo games will go on as scheduled, but many people in Japan say they should be postponed because of the coronavirus epidemic, according to polls....
japan, tokyo, olympics, games, coronavirus
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2020-14-16
Monday, 16 March 2020 06:14 PM
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