A weekend poll conducted by Japanese news organisations suggest that the majority of Tokyo residents are now opposed to the Olympics taking place in the city next year, and, amidst continuing fears over the coronavirus, many believe that they should either be further postponed, or cancelled altogether.
According to the poll which, admittedly, only had a small sample size 51.7% of all respondents wanted either to postpone or cancel them, and 46.3% wanted them to go ahead as planned. The others were undecided on the matter.
Amongst those opposed to the games proceeding, there is a slight preponderance of respondents who want to see the whole Games abandoned, as opposed to those who believe that a further delay is merited.
Even those who still want the Games to go ahead now are clearly in favour of a slimmed-down version - only 15% believe that they should be staged with the full splendour which was originally envisaged.
Originally scheduled to begin on July 24th this year, the Games were delayed by almost a full year until July 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both the IOC and the Japanese organising committee have both stated in recent weeks that it would not be feasible to postpone them again, whilst the countrys Prime Minister Shinz Abe has opined that, in his opinion it will be difficult to stage them until a suitable coronavirus vaccine is available.
Meanwhile, the cost of staging them continues to spiral. Budgeted at US $12.6 billion for this year (more than twice original estimates) the cost to Japan of the 12 month delay has been estimated at an extra US $2.7 billion.
Japan initially, appeared to be doing well in combating the Covid-19 outbreak, but the deadly virus has since caught up with them, and there have been more than 18,000 confirmed cases in the country and nearly 1,000 fatalities.
What is causing concern recently to Japanese health experts is a sudden surge in neighbouring countries such as China and South Korea which had previously seemed to have the situation under control, amidst increasing fears about the widely predicted second wave of the pandemic.