80% Of Japanese Surveyed Say Olympics Should Be Canceled

The 2020 Olympic Games originally slated for July of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic are now on target to begin on July 23rd. This is despite the ever-present coronavirus impact, which included a state of emergency being declared just last week in the host city of Tokyo, Japan.

On the heels of this announcement, recent surveys reveal that overall popular support for hosting the Games is waning within the nation of Japan.

In two polls conducted by Japanese news agency Kyodo and the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) this week, more than 80% of respondents said that the Tokyo Olympics should be canceled or postponed or say they believe the Olympics will not take place. (AP)

Tokyo reported a record of 2,447 new cases last Thursday, a 50% increase from the previous day — which was also a record day. Japan has attributed over 3,500 deaths to COVID-19, relatively low for a country of 126 million. (AP)

The situation led Canadian International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound to say in an interview with BBC, “I can’t be certain [the Olympics will happen] because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus.”

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SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

I pretty much agree. If the majority of participants and staff aren’t vaccinated, it really doesn’t make sense.

ab88
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

there’s plenty of time to vaccinate athletes, coaches and staff going to japan.. they should be ok.

Blackflag82
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

There’s time in theory but…globally, countries will have to be far enough along in vaccinating their priority populations before they consider vaccinating their Olympic populations. And rollout in the countries that should have distribution under better control hasn’t been great. What will happen in the countries that are already facing infrastructure issues? And when push comes to shove, are Japanese leaders going to risk the Olympics if a majority of people are against it? I hope they happen, but the door seems to be rapidly closing.

Sean
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

For wealthy countries, sure there is enough time. For many countries they won’t be able to even vaccinate their most at risk populations until 2022. Why should athletes be prioritized? https://www.trtworld.com/life/poor-countries-might-not-have-access-to-a-covid-19-vaccine-until-2022-42400

Ab88
Reply to  Sean
3 months ago

Yea but I’m sure the Olympic organization has the $$$ and power to vaccinate qualified athletes… they wouldn’t have to wait like me and you

Torchbearer
Reply to  Ab88
3 months ago

And the average size of an Olympic team is 50 (and the biggest teams about 450, and many are less than 10)…that should take at most an hour or two and a few thousand dollars at most. It is not a big imposition on any nation.

Dan
Reply to  Ab88
3 months ago

At the last Olympics it was about 11,300 athletes and close to that number of none athlete support people from 207 countries.
Several counties that have access to vaccine have gone out and said that athletes will not have priority so that would mean that the IOC would need to get about 25,000 doses to vaccinate these people and that does not include sponsors, media and other people around many of the events.
I hope the events do take place, but we need to find a way to get things done and I do not know how this would be accomplished at this time.

Distance4life
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

That’s really unrealistic to imagine that 3rd world countries and even all 1st world countries will be vaccinated by July especially on how governments are mostly focused on vaccinated elderly people and health care workers at the moment. But who knows

SWIMGUY12345
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

Have you seen the vaccinate role out in America?

About 9 million people in the USA have been vaccinated since December 14th. That’s about 2.25 million people per week.

That means it would take about 145 weeks or almost 3 years for the 328 million people in the USA to be vaccinated…just with their first dose. And longer if we’re including the second crucial dose.

I would imagine Japan would want most of their population vaccinated, and they haven’t even approved any COVID vaccine yet. So no, there’s not plenty of time.

Last edited 3 months ago by SWIMGUY12345
DrSwimPhil
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

Good thing only a fraction of that NEEDS to be vaccinated. Of course, it would require states to vaccinate the correct fraction for that to matter…

swimgeek
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

The pace of vaccination at the very beginning is going to be slower than later. That’s a given. The entire operation and structure has to be created. Certain states have been overly restrictive on who can get it and have had to dispose of unused vaccine. The pace will improve — by a lot.

Salty Krakens Nor Cal !
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
3 months ago

It would be great to see the games played out but only in a safe manner for all. The role out has been slower then they wanted…maybe a system of not being able to attend unless you get shots? I would love to go watch the games as I watched in 1996…but then times have changed. I just hope all of the athletes and coaches are safe and stay healthy. The world needs uplifting moments and Japan has spend a lot of time and a lot of money to make this world event happen. I don’t have the answer just thoughts.

Like to be optimistic, but -
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

It would be nice if hosting the olympics was just about the athletes & coaches, but this is a huge spectator event. How can they hold the games if they can’t sell tickets to the venues and have hotels and restaurants filled with people.
It’s not like hosting a local HS swimmeet or basketball tournament with empty bleachers.
Maybe give Tokyo the 2024 games and bump the rest of the cities back a cycle if their economies can handle hosting the event when this is all done.

Admin
Reply to  Like to be optimistic, but -
3 months ago

Bumping the cycle back is 1000% not going to happen, that much I’m certain of.

Most of the money for venues, etc. is a sunk cost at this point. Ticket revenue is significant for the Olympics, but television revenue dwarfs it. $4.38 billion from NBC alone.

Even at a median ticket price of about $70, that’s the equivalent of some 62 million tickets, just for one country’s hosting duties.

There’s a big chunk of lost tax revenue from hotels and such of course, but I would bet that’s still much less than the television revenue. There’s at least some cost savings from reducing the amount of international visitors.

One idea that I’ve heard floated around is “Japanese only spectators.” They’d… Read more »

10U DAD
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

1000% agree with your first sentence. I’ve been wondering why the idea of pushing the games all the way to 2022 hasn’t been brought up? Yes, I know the Winter Olympics are already 2022 but they both used be in the same year until 1992.

Olympunks & Gamester Bullies
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

How much of that revenue goes to the athletes?
Does the olympics add hotel revenue when the number of regular tourists is already 31 million per year?
Since the Olympics has been over funded by the public because of cost overruns, shouldn’t the public be given tickets for next to nothing or nothing?

PKDDS
Reply to  ab88
3 months ago

Yes, agree on the vaccination of all the athletes and staff going to the games. The news out of Japan is the citizens are not prepared for the foreign onslaught of visitors, even if limited.One would be lying if they think out of all the visitors, not one person maybe asymptomatic with covid. With all the venues spread apart it will present challenges. If for some reason it gets cancel, it should be announce sooner rather then later so the athletes preparing have some type of recourse to their already life on hold.

Ab88
Reply to  PKDDS
3 months ago

– Vaccines for athletes and staff.
– No international visitors, only Japanese spectators

of course it isn’t the best solution, but still much better than losing all the money they spent to organize the olympics games.. twice!

Swimmer A
3 months ago

Cancel it

Olympunks & Gamester Bullies
Reply to  Swimmer A
3 months ago

Yep, 80%, democracy has spoken…oh wait, that’s right, I forgot…

Swimmer A
Reply to  Olympunks & Gamester Bullies
3 months ago

What did you forget?

Olympunks & Gamester Bullies
Reply to  Swimmer A
3 months ago

The tax payers, who’ve paid for most of it, don’t get a say in the outcome.

Like to be optimistic, but -
Reply to  Swimmer A
3 months ago

Sadly I agree with Swimmer A. If I lived in Japan, I would not want people coming from all over the would and shedding their mutated viral variants on the island. Can you imagine the new strains that could emerge in the aftermath? No thanks.

swimfan210_
3 months ago

Vaccines will likely only reach high priority people in well developed nations by then. In general, people might start to take the virus less seriously, and cases will either continue to increase, and nations will go back and forth with lockdowns.
The pandemic will take a long time but it will be over. But most likely not by this summer.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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