As Japan deals with its fourth wave of coronavirus infections, a new poll published Monday has found that a vast majority of residents are opposed to Tokyo hosting this year's Olympic games.
The Tokyo Games are about two months away, having been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, conducted over the weekend by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, shows that 43 percent of respondents want the Tokyo Games canceled and 40 percent believe they should be delayed again. Last month, 35 percent of survey respondents felt the games needed to be canceled, and 34 percent wanted them postponed.
Just 14 percent want the games to go forward this summer, down from 28 percent last month. A majority of respondents, 59 percent, believe if the Olympics are held, there shouldn't be any spectators at the events. For the survey, 1,527 people were polled via telephone.
Amid a surge in cases, Japan expanded its coronavirus state of emergency on Friday. Osaka is the country's current hotspot, with health care workers warning they are running out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. An estimated 17,000 people in the area with coronavirus symptoms are waiting to be admitted to a hospital or are being treated at their homes, The Guardian reports. Only about 3 percent of Japan's population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Japan has reported nearly 670,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 11,300 deaths. While organizers of the Tokyo Games say they will enact strict measures to ensure everyone's safety, including regular testing of athletes and no spectators from overseas, there are concerns among the public that athletes from other countries will bring COVID-19 into Japan, and many Japanese doctors and nurses have warned against holding the games.