Tokyo Residents Unsure of 2021 Olympics

Also: 18 more countries added to Japan's entry ban list; Japan's professional soccer season resumes

(ATR) A slight majority of Tokyo residents believe the 2020 Olympics shouldn’t be held in 2021.

The results of a telephone poll conducted over the weekend found 51.7 percent of the 1,030 respondents either wanted the Games cancelled (27.7 percent) or postponed to 2022 or beyond (24 percent).

According to the poll carried out by Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television, 46.3 percent want the Games to go ahead after the one-year postponement.

Of those who favor the Games in 2021, 31.1 percent said the event should be scaled back, including without fans in the stands, while 15.2 percent want no changes made.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is pushing for a more "simplified" Games in 2021 that will reduce costs.

Her support of the one-year postponement doesn’t appear to have affected her chances at winning re-election on July 5. Kyodo reports that its poll conducted over the weekend shows Koike, who is running as an independent, with a broad appeal. Sixty percent of unaffiliated voters and 60 percent of supporters of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan say they will vote for her.

Japan’s Entry Ban List Grows

The number of countries and territories on Japan's entry ban list now stands at 129.

An additional 18 countries were added to the list on Monday by Japan’s National Security Council in its ongoing effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Kyodo.

The countries are Algeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Eswatini, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Iraq, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Senegal.

Beginning on Wednesday, foreign nationals who have been to the newly added countries on the list within 14 days of their arrival in Japan will be denied entry.

Japan will continue to suspend visa issuance by its embassies in the 129 countries on the list until the end of July.

Soccer Returns

The second and third tiers of Japanese professional soccer returned to play on Saturday but without any spectators.

When the sport was shut down on February 26, the J2 had played only one round of matches while the J3 had yet to start its season, which had been scheduled for March 7.

The top-flight J1 will be picking up its season from round two when it resumes this coming weekend.

The shortened season is scheduled to run through Dec. 19.

According to Kyodo, all players will be tested every two weeks throughout the season.

Japan’s professional baseball season began without spectators on June 19 after a three-month delay.

Japanese government guidelines call for spectators to return to sporting events beginning on July 10. The first phase will allow a maximum of 5,000 people or 50 percent of the venue’s capacity, whichever is smaller.

Written by Gerard Farek

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