TOKYO : 'One in four wants the Olympics in 2021'. Poll unveils Japanese are majorly in favour of cancellation, postponement.

Just one in four people in Japan want to see the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Games held next year, with most backing either further delay or a cancellation, a new poll shows.

Only 23.9 percent of respondents in the three-day nationwide poll published last Sunday said they wanted to see the 2020 Games held next year.

The survey carried out by Kyodo news agency found 36.4 percent of respondents back a further delay of the Games, while 33.7 think the flagship event should be cancelled altogether.

Most of those backing a delay or cancellation said they simply didn't believe the pandemic could be contained in time for the Games, now scheduled to open July 23, 2021.

A separate survey carried out over the weekend by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper found 33 percent of respondents backed holding the Games next year, with 61 percent supporting another postponement or cancellation.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as the coronavirus spread across the globe, marking the first disruption to the Olympics since two editions were cancelled during World War II.

The nationwide polls echo a separate survey carried out last month of Tokyo residents, which found just over half of respondents backed either further delay or cancellation.

Japanese and Olympic officials have made clear that a further postponement is not on the table.

But concerns are rising in Japan about a new wave of infections, with the capital registering record numbers of daily new cases in recent days.

International Olympics Committee president Thomas Bach said last week the Tokyo Olympics could be a ''unique milestone for the entire world'' noting they ''will be the first worldwide gathering after coronavirus.'' [AFP]


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