Survey: Takeda Must Face Accountability for Allegations

(ATR) A new internet survey by ATR Japan also shows less than 15 percent think Takeda should continue as JOC president.

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(ATR) A new internet survey by ATR Japan showed that nearly 94 percent of respondents think there needs to be accountability from Tsunekazu Takeda, related to bribery allegations against him.

An internet survey of 143 Japanese conducted by ATR Japan between February 15 and 22, showed that people have a highly negative view of Takeda continuing to serve as Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) president.

Takeda has been investigated by French authorities as part of a sprawling probe into bribery around buying votes for Olympic bids. French investigators believe there is "serious or consistent evidence" a crime was committed by Takeda, which advanced the probe. However, it is unclear if Takeda will ever stand trial for the charges.

Japanese media have reported that the Japanese Olympic Committee had considered a proposal to extend the retirement age to allow for Takeda to stay on as president for one more term. Broadcaster NHK reported this week that those plans were now on hold, and that Takeda would no longer be a candidate for JOC President at elections this June. Both the Asahi Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun quoted sources that said Takeda’s departure from the JOC was "inevitable".

A spokesperson from the JOC declined to comment on the reports to Around the Rings.

Takeda faced an ethics commission hearing, but was given the "presumption of innocence" by the IOC. He remains a member, and unlike other IOC officials caught up in the French investigation did not self-suspend himself.

In January Takeda held a press conference about how the bribery suspicions affected the 2020 Olympic Games. Takeda took no questions and reiterated that the suspected payments at the center of the French investigation were done in a legitimate manner.

When posed the question "Do you think that Takeda should fulfill the responsibility of explanation?" 93.7 percent of survey respondents said either "I think so" or "I strongly think so".

Also, in the answer to the question, "Do you think that Mr. Takeda should continue his position as president of JOC?", only 14.7 percent were positive as "I strongly think so" or "I think so".

When given the option to provide their own opinions, respondents' comments included "We are afraid that the impressions of Tokyo Olympics would be worse because of this [scandal]", and "We can’t trust Mr. Takeda".

The survey also asked about the pros and cons of 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The bribery suspicions increased by around 10 percent the number of respondents who are opposed to having the Tokyo Olympics, according to the survey.

Furthermore, when asked, "Did [your] impression of the Olympics change due to the suspicions [of bribery]?", 60.1 percent said that "[My] impression got worse". This indicates that the people’s opinion of the Olympics got worse due to the suspicions.

Written by ATR Japan

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