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Survey: Half of Tokyo residents disapprove of 2021 Olympics

An increasing number of events and sporting fixtures are being cancelled or postponed around Japan as coronavirus cases continue to grow and concerns mount over the possibility that the epidemic will force the postponement or even cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

A public poll has found 51.7 per cent of Tokyo residents hope the Olympics in 2021 is postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3 per cent want to see the event proceed.

The poll was conducted by Kyodo News and broadcaster Tokyo MX using a telephone survey, between June 26 and 28, and received 1,030 responses.

Of those opposed to the 2021 Games, 27.7 per cent said they want it cancelled and 24 per cent would prefer a second postponement due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The poll comes ahead of the July 5 election of the Tokyo governor. Incumbent Koike Yuriko currently holds a large lead over her opponents. Two opponents, Kenji Utsunomiya and Taro Yamamoto, are calling for the Games to be cancelled if health experts advise against hosting the event, and that the hosting budget be redirected.

A recent survey by Japanese public-service broadcaster NHK also found two-thirds of corporate sponsors of Tokyo 2020 are unsure if they will extend their contracts beyond this December. NHK said some companies failed to respond on how they would react if the committee asks for further financial contributions, and 14 per cent said their response would depend on the asking price.