ATR Japan Survey: Olympics Good, Just Not in Tokyo Please

(ATR) Fighting coronavirus more important than hosting the Olympics says new ATR Japan poll.

(ATR) Fighting the coronavirus is more important than hosting the Olympics say more than 85 percent of the respondents in a survey by ATR Japan and Meiji University's Institute of Social Communication.

The online survey on attitudes toward hosting the 2021 Tokyo Olympics drew 407 valid responses. It was conducted April 19 to 26.

In line with other surveys, about 80 percent of those polled think the Olympics should be cancelled or postponed. But remove the pandemic as a factor and 66 percent say the Olympics should go on if there were no COVID-19 cases. Just over 16 percent remained opposed to the Olympics regardless of the virus.

The Olympics as a whole are viewed as a positive event by 55 percent of the respondents. Just under six percent expressed dislike for the Olympics.

But when asked specifically about the Tokyo Olympics, the results are not encouraging for the Games. The survey showed overwhelming public distrust in the management of the Olympics and concerns about the economic burden placed on the people by hosting the games.

More than 87 percent of those completing the survey agreed "It is unclear how the Tokyo Olympics are run and how money is used".

More than 70 percent said they are opposed to spending any more tax money on the Olympics.

But 53 percent of the respondents acknowledged the Tokyo Olympics will result in legacies such as stadiums.

The survey shows 56 percent believe Great East Japan Earthquake reconstructionshould be given priority over hosting the Olympics.

While the Olympics are billed as a symbol of the earthquake recovery, nearly 77 percent of the respondents disagreed.

The Olympic torch relay gets lukewarm support in the survey. The nearly four-month relay began March 25 and is supposed to visit every prefecture in Japan. The COVID-19 crisis has led to cancellations of public ceremonies and runners carrying the torch without any crowds present.

Asked whether they would approve or disapprove of the Olympic torch relay, 39 percent agreed the relay should be stopped depending on the COVID-19 situation. Another 25 percent agreed with the limits on the relay. More than 25 percent said the relay should be stopped immediately.

Just 5.7 percent said the relay should be held as planned.

The survey shows general opposition to spectators at the Games. More than 51 percent say the number should be limited while nearly 45 percent say no spectators should be allowed.

Beyond Tokyo, 43 percent of respondents said they were unsure about the bid from Sapporo to host the 2030 Winter Olympics. Those in favor numbered 39 percent while 24 percent were against.

On the question of whether to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over human rights issues, 42 percent said they were in favor, 43 percent said they could not say either way, and 14 percent said they were against.

Of the respondents, 48 percent were women and 52 percent were men. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 85. Of the respondents, 30 percent live in Tokyo, 22 percent in prefectures where Olympic venues are located, and 47 percent in other prefectures.