An overwhelming majority of Japanese said they were "interested in the Olympics," although 58 percent said they did not want them to be held in 2021 because of fears over COVID-19, a Yomiuri daily poll showed on Wednesday.
In the survey, conducted between January 18 and February 25, when much of the country remained in a coronavirus state of emergency, 30 percent of the respondents said they were "very interested" in the Summer Games and 40 percent said they were "somewhat interested," for a combined 70 percent. But concerns over the impact on coronavirus infections kept most opposed to holding the event in 2021, although the 58 percent in opposition is about 20 percentage points lower than earlier opinion polls.
If the Games were to go ahead as scheduled, 91 percent of respondents said spectators should be kept to a minimum or not allowed at all, the Yomiuri poll showed. The Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed in 2020 because of the pandemic and rescheduled to take place in 2021 from July 23.
A survey by global consultancy Kekst CNC published on Wednesday showed similar rates of majority opposition in Japan, at 56 percent, as well as in Britain and Germany, at 55 percent and 52 percent respectively. In France and Sweden, more people opposed than approved, while in the US, respondents were split at one-third between those who agreed and disagreed that the Games should go ahead, according to the survey.
The country remains closed to nonresident foreigners.