Only 23.9 percent of people in Japan are in favor of holding next summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled, while more than half of the country's populace are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.
As the world has been engulfed by the pandemic for months, 36.4 percent of respondents to the nationwide opinion poll think that the Summer Games should be postponed again, while 33.7 percent said they should be canceled.
With about one year until the scheduled opening of the Olympics, 75.3 percent of those backing either a further delay in the games or their cancelation believe the virus cannot be contained anytime soon.
That main reason was followed by 12.7 percent who said the government should put priority on its fight against the spread of the virus in Japan and 5.9 percent citing additional costs to host the sporting extravaganza.
The Tokyo Games' organizers and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to simplify the rescheduled event, now due to kick off July 23 next year, to ensure safety from the virus.
As for what could be done to downsize the games, 44.1 percent said they should be held without spectators or with limited numbers at each venue.
Japan is considering easing travel restrictions for foreign athletes from countries even subject to its entry ban if they are not infected with the virus.
The opinion poll found 69.1 percent are supportive of their participation, while 26.5 percent are against.
The three-day telephone survey from Friday found 59.1 percent have been discontent with the government's handling of the pandemic.
While the approval rate for Abe's Cabinet stood at 38.8 percent, compared with 36.7 percent about a month ago, it found that 66.4 percent think the government should declare again a state of emergency in response to a recent surge in the number of new virus cases in Tokyo and elsewhere.
The disapproval rate came to 48.5 percent, down 1.2 points from the previous survey.
Since the government fully lifted a nationwide state of emergency on May 25, Tokyo and some other urban areas, including its neighboring areas and the western region of Kansai, have marked single-day records for new infections.
Despite the resurgence of the pandemic in Tokyo, which reported a single-day record of 293 cases of the virus on Friday, and elsewhere in Japan, Abe's administration has decided to go ahead with the launch on Wednesday of a subsidy program aimed at spurring domestic travel.
The survey found that 62.7 percent feel the program, called the Go To Travel Campaign, should be postponed.
While the government excluded Tokyo from the program at the last minute, it showed that 17 percent think other areas seeing rising numbers of infections with the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the virus should have been treated the same way.
Asked about the most appropriate time for a general election, 61 percent replied either when the four-year term of House of Representatives members ends in October 2021 or near the term's termination, followed by 16.5 percent saying it should be held by the end of this year.
The survey, covering 721 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,374 mobile phone numbers, obtained responses from 508 and 533 people, respectively.
Tokyo reports 188 coronavirus cases, below 200 for 1st time in 4 days
Japan's travel campaign thrown into disarray after minister's remarks
Japan's governors want more areas cut from travel program as needed