Two new polls have found that over 80% of respondents in Japan thought the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics should be postponed or canceled, according to the Associated Press.
Conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS, the Tokyo Broadcasting System, the TBS poll asked 1,261 people if the Olympics can be held this year while COVID-19 continues to spread. Just 13% answered "yes," while the 81% said "no" - an 18% increase over a similar survey in December.
The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, when 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes will enter the country. On top of that, tens of thousands of "coaches, judges, officials, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters" would likely attend, though it is unclear if fans from abroad - or even local fans - will be able to attend.
Kyodo similarly found that 80.1% of respondents among 715 randomly chosen households said the Olympics should be rescheduled or canceled, an increase from 63% who gave the same answer in December.
Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to hold the Olympics, although several government audits show the number is about $25 billion. All but $6.7 billion is public money.
The Switzerland-based IOC earns 91% of its income from selling broadcast rights and sponsorships.
The American network NBC agreed in 2011 to a $4.38 billion contract with the IOC to broadcast four Olympics through the Tokyo. In 2014 it agreed to pay an added $7.75 billion for six more games — Winter and Summer — through 2032. -Associated Press
Tokyo is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases which prompted the government to announce a state of emergency. That said, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was confident that the Olympics would still be held.
Japan has had 3,600 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in a country of 126 million.