With cases rising once again, citizens and even some government officials are raising their doubts about the likelihood of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games being held next summer.
This Thursday, Japan set the single-day record for new cases of coronavirus with 981. Tokyo alone reached 366 cases in a day, which is the highest number since the beginning of the outbreak. This marks the 15th day in a row with over 100 cases. Cases have been slowly climbing back up across Japan since summer.
In a nationwide poll conducted over telephones, data showed that less than a quarter of citizens want the games to be held next summer as planned. 36.4% of those surveyed want to postpone the games, and 33.7% want to see the games canceled altogether.
Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko has stated that Japan’s priority should be taking on the virus with all of our efforts to ensure an on-schedule Olympics. While citizen support seems to be low, Japan’s prime minister, Abe Shinzo, remains firm in his support of the current schedule. Despite several proposals that would further extend the Olympics, Prime Minister Shinzo insists that “There is only one year.” With Japan’s economy in a recession due to Corona, Japan’s central government seems to have no choice but to move ahead with the Olympics for the sake of economy.