Olympic Enthusiasm in Short Supply

(ATR) In Tokyo, U.S. cautionary public sentiment on matters Olympic.

(ATR) New polling in Japan shows public sentiment for the Tokyo Olympics is stuck in the mud.

The latest survey from Kyodo News shows 39 percent of those surveyed say the Olympics and Paralympics should be cancelled, while 32 percent call for rescheduling the already postponed Games.

Just 24 percent are in favor of holding the Olympics. The low favorability is in line with the results of previous polls in the past year of the coronavirus pandemic. Already tenuous before the virus led to the postponement of the Games to this year, public support has been further challenged by the rising costs due to the delay and countermeasures for the virus.

Even the Olympic Torch Relay which started March 25 has failed to sway public opinion. The Kyodo survey indicates49 percent say the relay should not be held in parts of Japan with severe COVID-19 infection rates while 36 percent say the entire relay should be called off.

Only 13 percent said the torch relay should maintain plans to travel through each of the 47 prefectures leading to opening ceremony July 23.

The impact of coronavirus concerns can be seen this week in Osaka, where the relay is being held Tuesday and Wednesday in a park with only torchbearers participating.

A recent survey in the U.S. shows divided sentiment on the question of a boycott of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing over human rights concerns, The poll conducted in March by the Chicago Council recorded 49 percent in favor of a boycott, 46 percent opposed.

Reported by Ed Hula.

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