Tokyo 2020 Poll: Japanese Business Support Wanes

Also: Countermeasures meeting begins; search for Mori's successor; venues undamaged by weekend earthquake

(ATR) Japanese companies are not as pessimistic about the Tokyo Olympics as the general public but more than half believe the Games should be cancelled or postponed.

A survey released Monday by think tank Tokyo Shoko Research, and reported by Reuters, showed 56 percent of the more than 11,000 firms polled want Tokyo 2020 either cancelled or postponed, a slight increase from 53.6 percent in August 2020.

There was a much more precipitous drop in support for proceeding with the Games in full form as scheduled. Only 7.7 percent agreed with that, down from 22.5 percent in the previous survey.

The online survey was conducted from Feb. 1-8, before Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori resigned on Feb. 12 for sexist remarks he made during a Feb. 3 meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

A recent poll by Kyodo found 80 percent of Japanese people want the Games cancelled or postponed.

Countermeasures Meeting Begins

Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee began a three-day joint working meeting on COVID-19 countermeasures on Monday.

The meeting, being held via teleconference, will conclude on Wednesday with a joint press conference to reveal what was decided.

Tokyo 2020, the IOC and IPC earlier this month released a series of "playbooks" providing key stakeholders a framework of principles and outlining measures to ensure a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games. An update is expected in April and another one in June.

Who will Succeed Mori?

Mori’s successor could be chosen as early as this week, though Nippon TV reports the decision could slip into next week depending on the number of candidates submitted by members of the selection committee.

The selection committee, made up of an equal number of men and women, meets for the first time early this week, according to Nippon TV.

Among those reported to be in the mix to succeed Mori is Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, the seven-time Olympian who is currently one of two women in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet.

Tokyo 2020 Venues Escape Damage

It appears no Tokyo 2020 venues suffered any damage from a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that hit northeastern Japan over the weekend.

Azuma Stadium in Fukushima, which is slated to host baseball and softball games, and Miyagi Stadium near Sendai, which will host soccer, were declared undamaged, according to reports from Kyodo. Kashima Stadium in Ibaraki prefecture, another soccer venue, was also given the all clear, along with all the temporary structures at each of the sites.

Tokyo 2020 plans to do a more thorough survey this week.

The prefectures of Fukushima and Miyagi were both hit hard in 2011 by a massive earthquake and the resulting tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown.

The venues in that part of Japan were chosen to promote the reconstruction of the region following the catastrophe.

Fukushima’s J-Village national soccer training center, the starting point for the Torch relay on March 25, also appeared undamaged by the weekend quake.

Homepage photo: Tokyo 2020

Written by Gerard Farek

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