New poll reinforces other recent surveys that suggest opposition to Tokyo 2020 is softening slightly, just over a month before the July 23 opening ceremony
About a third of Japanese now back holding the Olympics, up from just 14% last month, a new poll showed Monday, though a majority still prefer cancellation or postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll reinforces other recent surveys that suggest opposition to Tokyo 2020 is softening slightly, just over a month before the July 23 opening ceremony.
Support for holding the virus-postponed Games rose to 34%, according to the poll by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper published on Monday.
However, 32% still want the Games to be cancelled altogether and 30% want the games to be delayed again, down from 43% and 40% in last month’s survey, respectively.
Organisers have ruled out postponing the Games again, and the first Olympic athletes have already arrived in Japan.
“The vaccine rollout is picking up, but risks of a resurgence will increase as Japan lifts the state of emergency and welcomes thousands of Olympic athletes and officials,” Tetsufumi Yamakawa, Barclays analyst, said.
The central Bank of Japan retained current policy and a cautious stance on the economy this week, while extending its special Covid-19 funding programme for troubled businesses.
“Based on the inflation outlook and current price stability targets, we believe the BoJ will not be in a position to normalise monetary policy before 2024,” Yamakawa forecast.
The Asahi survey – conducted on June 19-20 – comes after several recent surveys that offered respondents the choice between cancelling the Games or holding it, with no postponement option, found that more back holding the event than scrapping it.
The shift in sentiment will be welcome news for organisers, who are expected to announce later Monday how many local fans, if any, will be in the stands for the Games.
With reporting by Agence France-Presse