70% of Japanese Want Tokyo Games To Be Canceled or Delayed: Poll

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Olympic rings can be seen near the National Stadium in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – More than 70% of people in Japan want the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled or delayed if the coronavirus pandemic continues. This was found in a poll by Kyodo News on Monday, just over 100 days before the Games were scheduled to start.

The survey found that 39.2% want to retire the games, while 32.8% are in favor of further delay. Only 24.5% of respondents want the world’s largest sporting event to take place on schedule.

Tokyo began a month-long phase of quasi-emergency response on Monday to blunt a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections caused by virulent mutant strains.

More than 92.6% of respondents were concerned about the recurrence of infections, according to the Kyodo poll, conducted April 10-12.

While vaccinations for people aged 65 and over began in around 120 locations across the country on Monday, imported doses are still scarce and the pace of vaccination is unlikely to stop the recent wave of infections.

The survey found that around 60% of people were dissatisfied with Japan’s progress with vaccinations.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval rating rose 1.9 percentage points from the previous month to 44%, while his disapproval rate was 36.1%, the poll found.

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