Japanese Companies Split on Postponed Olympics

Also: One year delay not expected to change Torch Relay schedule for Tokyo Games.

(ATR) A new survey shows less than half of nearly 13,000 Japanese companies support holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021.

A combined 46.2 percent of the firms who responded to the online poll conducted by Tokyo Shoko Research are in favor of holding the Games a year late, according toKyodo News.

Of that total, 22.5 percent want no changes to the original plan, 18.4 percent prefer the event be held with fewer spectators and 5.3 percent want no spectators.

The survey of 12.857 companies found 53.6 percent against holding the Games next summer, with 27.8 percent wanting the Games cancelled and another 25.8 percent believing another postponement is necessary.

The poll was conducted between July 28 and August 11. There has been a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Japan, with a peak of 1,998 daily cases on August 3. A total of about 60,000 infections have been reported in Japan with more than 18,000 of those in Tokyo.

No Changes to Torch Relay

Postponing Tokyo 2020 by a year will apparently not affect the torch relay schedule.

Kyodo News reports the relay will still last 121 days and include all 47 of Japan’s prefectures.

The relay is expected to begin from the J-Village soccer training center in Fukushima prefecture on March 25, 2021. The venue is viewed as a symbol of the recovery of the area from a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The original torch relay would have begun on March 26, 2020 from the same place, but just days before that the Games were postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic could still conceivably force changes to the plan in the coming months, Kyodo reports officials believe there is no reason to make substantial changes to the torch relay since reducing its length would have little impact on cost but would create headaches for organizers in dealing with sponsors and local governments.

The postponed Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021.

Written by Gerard Farek

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