Tokyo Virus Q and APeople pass a countdown clock for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo last Tuesday. Most Japanese have no desire to attend Olympic or Paralympic events, according to a recent Jiji Press poll.

Feb 23, 2020

Fewer than 40 percent of Japanese want to watch live Tokyo Olympic or Paralympic events at venues, a recent Jiji Press opinion poll found.

According to the survey, 9.2 percent of those questioned said they definitely want to watch the Olympic or Paralympic opening or closing ceremonies or competitions at event venues, while 27.4 percent want to attend such events only if possible.

The total figure of 36.7 percent is down from 37.1 percent in July last year, the last time the survey covered the subject, and 45.6 percent in 2018.

As many as 62.8 percent said they do not want to attend such events. The figure includes 23.2 percent who said they do not want to watch any live events and 39.5 percent who do not want to attend them so much.

Asked about reasons, with multiple answers allowed, 70.0 percent said they will be satisfied with watching different events via television broadcasts and other types of coverage, 38.5 percent said event venues are too far away to travel to and 22.0 percent said they are worried about heatstroke and other problems due to expected high temperatures during the games.

The low level of interest in attending live events is also believed to reflect concerns over the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Regarding Olympic and Paralympic tickets, only 1.3 percent said they had won tickets in the lottery.

The largest group, or 69.6 percent, said they do not plan to buy tickets, followed by 15.8 percent who did not join the lottery and have not decided whether they will buy them in the future and 5.6 percent who did not enter the lottery and have not yet decided what they are planning to do.

Also, 4.7 percent said they did not apply for the lottery but want to buy tickets, while 2.4 percent said they entered the lottery but failed to win so they want to purchase tickets.

On issues of concern about the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the largest proportion or respondents, at 39.9 percent, cited concern over transportation inconveniences that may result from traffic jams and congestion.

Some 38.0 percent said costs for the Tokyo Games may increase, causing more taxpayers’ money to be used to finance the event, while 37.2 percent are worried that Japan may be targeted by criminals or terrorists.

The interview-based survey was conducted on 2,000 people aged 18 or older across Japan for four days through Feb. 9. Valid responses were collected from 61.1 percent of those questioned.