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Tokyo Olympics: Japanese want to postpone or cancel Olympics amid slow vaccination campaigns



100 days before the Olympics, the Japanese view reflects a deep fear that the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled from July 23 to August 8, will be held for fear of a further Coronavirus outbreak. Contrary to the wishes of the country’s authorities and the organizing committee, more than 70 percent of Japanese prefer to cancel or postpone this sporting event, originally scheduled for summer 2020. This feeling is fueled by the extreme slowness of vaccination campaigns. In turn, gamekeepers express great confidence in keeping them on time, assuring that they will be able to organize “safe Games”.


Japanese public opinion seems unenthusiastic about the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. This is evident in a poll conducted by Japanese media 100 days before the 2020 Olympics, mainly due to fears among the population of a growing Coronavirus outbreak in the country.


According to the survey, 39.2 percent of Japanese want to cancel the Olympics completely, while 32.8 percent prefer to postpone it again. The Olympic Games have been rescheduled due to the pandemic and were scheduled for summer 2020. In addition, only 24.5 percent of Japanese support keeping the games on schedule.


Fears grow amid discontent with vaccination campaign


The Japanese are especially concerned by the slow vaccination campaign in the country. So far, only 1 percent of adults have been vaccinated against coronavirus, in a country where the elderly make up about a third of the population.


These concerns coincide with the current passage of the Olympic flame across the country, which is a fundamental tradition in this sporting event. But the surveyed segment also looks at this tradition with suspicion. Some 49 percent prefer not to pass the torch in areas with high rates of HIV infections, while 35.9 percent say they want it stopped altogether.


The Olympic torch’s route has been reduced to a minimum, with a crackdown in several cities and fans banned from attending the launch of its tour on 25 March.


Organizers are confident of organizing ” safe Games”


On the other hand, the officials of the organizing committee show great confidence in keeping the games on schedule. They do not mention the possibility of postponement or cancellation, and focus only on actions taken to organize “safe Games” in an effort to calm the opposition atmosphere.


According to the measures taken, foreign fans will not be allowed to come to Japan, only players and accompanying members. A resolution expected will also limit the number of local spectators.


Although the Japanese authorities do not require that Olympic participants be vaccinated, the IOC encourages vaccination and has received doses of Chinese vaccine for athletes from countries that cannot obtain it, with some Olympic teams already receiving the vaccine. Athletes will have to restrict their movements, stay in the Olympic Village only at the time of their events, and undergo regular checks.


With the exception of North Korea, no country has pulled out of the Tokyo Games, unlike last year’s draw, as athletes continue to prepare and exercise.


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