Top News

86% in Japan fear COVID rebound if Tokyo Olympics held: Kyodo poll

86% in Japan fear COVID rebound if Tokyo Olympics held: Kyodo poll

Around 86 percent of people in Japan are concerned about a rebound in COVID-19 cases if the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are staged this summer, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday. The two-day nationwide survey conducted from Saturday found that 40.3 percent believe the Summer Games should be held without spectators and 30.8 percent think they should be canceled. The results demonstrate the scale of the public's doubts about holding a major global event during a pandemic, around a month before the opening of the Olympics, with 68 percent also viewing the Japanese government's vaccine rollout as slow. Asked about the fate of the Olympics and Paralympics if a COVID-19 state of emergency is declared again in Tokyo and elsewhere after the games begin, 55.7 percent said they should continue with the implementation of measures such as barring spectators and 35.4 percent said they should be canceled at that point. The telephone survey covering about 2,000 people found that 50.8 percent believe the government's decision last week to end the latest state of emergency in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka and six other prefectures on Sunday was too early. The capital and six of the areas will shift to a quasi-state of emergency until July 11. The number of new daily coronavirus cases across Japan has fallen to around 1,500 recently, down from more than 7,000 at the peak of a fourth wave of infections in early to mid-May, while the country's vaccine rollout has gradually picked up pace. In the poll, the approval rating for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet rose to 44.0 percent, compared with 41.1 percent in mid-May. The disapproval rating declined to 42.2 percent from 47.3 percent, which was the highest since the Cabinet was formed in September. Still, 59.9 percent said they do not support the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, while 35.8 percent said they do. Starting from Monday, a number of Japanese companies and universities will begin COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees and students. Japan's vaccination rollout started with health care workers in February and expanded to people aged 65 and older in April. The survey, covering 673 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,357 mobile phone numbers, obtained responses from 548 and 547 people, respectively.

Kyodo News Digest: June 20, 2021

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


Boxing: Inoue overwhelms Dasmarinas in 3-round knockout to stay perfect

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


Baseball: Angels' Shohei Ohtani matches career high with 22 homers

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


FEATURE: Short film celebrates grassroots resistance to discrimination

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


FEATURE: Olympic spectator woes prove bad news for Tokyo's souvenir sellers

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS

Coronavirus

Alcohol allowed but no condom distribution in Tokyo Olympic village

Alcohol allowed but no condom distribution in Tokyo Olympic village

The organizing committee of this summer's Tokyo Olympics said Sunday that participants will be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages into the athletes' village but only for consumption in their rooms, as part of efforts to ensure the safety of the games amid the coronavirus pandemic. The organizing committee also said it will not distribute condoms to participants during their stay in the village but on their departure, a break from recent Olympic tradition. Traffic restriction begins near the National Stadium in Tokyo on June 8, 2021, some 40 days ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. Traffic to designated areas near the National Stadium, the main venue of the Olympics and Paralympic, will be barred until Sept. 30. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo Condoms have been given to participants since the 1988 Seoul Olympics to raise awareness of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, commonly known as AIDS, according to the committee. With around a month to go until the start of the Olympics, five organizing bodies of the games, including the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments and the International Olympic Committee, will decide Monday on how many spectators will be allowed at venues. The organizers are considering allowing around 20,000 spectators for the Olympic opening ceremony late next month, sources with knowledge of the matter said Sunday. The spectator cap for the ceremony at the National Stadium on July 23 would include both ticket holders from the general public and officials related to the games, the sources said. The Japanese government has said it will allow up to 10,000 people at events such as sports games and concerts in areas that are not under a COVID-19 state of emergency or a quasi-emergency, as long as they do not exceed 50 percent of venue capacity. The government and Olympic officials are considering applying the policy to the Olympics and the Paralympics, due to start on Aug. 24. For the opening ceremony, however, organizers are expected to create a separate slot for officials related to the games, according to the sources. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his intent to hold the games with spectators, while the organizing bodies are considering leaving open the possibility of no spectators depending on the coronavirus situation. Tokyo, which has been under a state of emergency since late April, will shift to a quasi-state of emergency from Monday that is scheduled to last until July 11. Medical experts have voiced concern that allowing spectators at venues may worsen the coronavirus situation. The Tokyo Olympic organizers have released a set of rules and measures to prevent the spread of the virus, but many have questioned their effectiveness. A member of the Ugandan Olympic team tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival in Japan and was denied entry to the country, in the first known case of COVID-19 among teams arriving for the games, according to government officials. The team member, who tested positive at Narita airport outside Tokyo on Saturday evening, was part of a second group of athletes to arrive in Japan for the Tokyo Games. Also on Sunday, 14 members of the Danish national rowing team arrived at Haneda airport. The team will train in their host town of Ogata in Akita Prefecture and remain there until July 18.        

Coronavirus outbreak latest: June 20, 2021

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


Tokyo Games athletes' village with anti-virus steps unveiled to media

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID on Japan arrival

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


China vaccine doses to ASEAN top 120 million, 4.8 times U.N. program

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS


Japan spokesman leaves door open to holding no-spectator Tokyo Games

Jun 20, 2021 | KYODO NEWS

Pick Up

Partners