According to a survey published by Kyodo News, the Japanese would rather pass the torch on the next Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2021. 70 percent of respondents questioned in July said that they would rather see the games canceled or postponed once more. The overwhelming majority of people in favor of axing the event said they believed the virus could not be contained anytime soon, making it too dangerous to host a mass gathering.
Japan has been battling quickly rising infection numbers lately after having been able to keep the virus mostly at bay since March while tightening and loosening restrictions several times. The event, which was originally scheduled to take place July 24 to Aug 9 of 2020, prompted a construction frenzy in the capital and was supposed to up Japan’s international visitor numbers to an annual 40 million to make up for investments. With hotels empty, tourist arrivals reduced to a trickle and the country already in a recession as of Q1, the Japanese are wary of the risk associated with a large event as well as the additional money spent, which might not be recouped in the current circumstances.