Most Japanese don't want foreign fans at Olympics: poll

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 08 2021 12:06 PM

Most Japanese don't want foreign fans at Olympics: poll 1
A woman cycles past a sign for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the pavement in front of the National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 3, 2021. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters/File

TOKYO - More than 75 percent of Japanese oppose overseas fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, a poll showed Monday, as organizers prepare to make a decision on foreign spectators.

The poll, by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily, found that only 18 percent of people who responded were in favor of foreign spectators being allowed into Japan for the coronavirus-delayed Games, with 77 percent against.

Games organizers said last week that they plan to rule on the matter this month, likely before the nationwide torch relay begins on March 25.

But Japanese media say Games chiefs have already decided to bar foreign fans.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said Friday that organizers "really want to hold the event in full stadiums with fans from around the world," but would find it difficult "if we're not in a position where we can accept them and the situation with medical facilities isn't perfect."

The Yomiuri poll also revealed that 45 percent of respondents were in favor of spectators in general attending the Games, with 48 percent opposed.

Organizers have said they plan to make a decision on overall attendance limits in April.

The poll was conducted between March 5 to 7 through random phone calls, with 1,066 of the 1,977 people contacted responding.

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