Tokyo Olympics: 72 % Of Japanese Polled Want The Games Canceled Or Postponed Over Slow Vaccine Rollout


Thursday, April 15th 2021, 9:07 am
By: CBS News


The Tokyo Olympics are only three months away now, but there is still a lot of uncertainty and concern surrounding the event, specifically among those living in Japan. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and not everyone in the country being vaccinated, many are worried the games -- which have already been postponed once -- will not be safe to hold.

On Monday, a Kyodo News poll showed that the majority of those asked in Japan are in favor of postponing or canceling the games altogether. Here are the stats from a Kyodo News poll:

"Amid lingering concern over a fourth coronavirus wave and the slow progress of vaccination, the poll found 39.2 percent believe the postponed Olympics and Paralympics should be canceled, while 32.8 percent think they should be rescheduled. Only 24.5 percent responded that the games should be held as scheduled."

According to the Wall Street Journal, only one percent of Japan's population is vaccinated against COVID-19.

As noted in the Kyodo News report, and highlighted by the Wall Street Journal information above, the concern for the Olympic events come in large part due to Japan's COVID-19 vaccine rollout which, because it is relying heavily on getting vials from other countries, is not moving as fast as desired.

According to nationwide telephone poll conducted and reported on by Kyodo News, 60 percent of people in the country are "dissatisfied" with the how the vaccine is being distributed. On Monday, Japan moved on to the phase of the rollout that includes vaccinating those who are 65 and older. Before Monday, health care workers were prioritized.

The poll also touched on the torch relay, with 13.2 percent saying it should continue, 49.3 percent saying in areas with high COVID-19 rates it should be canceled and 35.9 percent saying it should be canceled entirely. The torch relay began on March 25 in Japan. 

Nearly all polled are concerned about COVID-19 cases rising, as Kyodo News wrote that "92.6 percent said they feel anxious about a resurgence of novel coronavirus infections."