The 35 Japanese Athletic Federations were surveyed between the end of June and mid-July to assess their preference on the timing of the decision to hold next year’s Olympic games according to a Kyodo News survey. Ten of the Federations want a decision within the year, six prefer a decision this fall and one supports a summer decision. The question of timing is being raised given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the resulting concerns for athletes, their ability to train and their safe travel to qualifying events.
The Olympic Games, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, were originally scheduled for July 24-August 9, 2020, but were postponed due to the pandemic and are now slated for July 23-August 8, 2021.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee (TOC), the local organizing committee, would prefer to see a decision made in the spring of 2021, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final decision on the timing of the 2021 Olympic Games.
The coronavirus pandemic began impacting qualifying events in early 2020 and the Olympic Games were postponed on March 24, 2020.
To date, Japan, with a population of 126 million people, has had a total of 45,757 cases of coronavirus, with 1,042 deaths.
In July, the Kyoto New Agency conducted a nationwide survey to determine the support for the delayed Olympic Games among the Japanese people. Only 23.9% of respondents believed the games would occur on schedule with most questioning whether the virus could be sufficiently contained to allow the games to proceed safely.