Amid opposition, Japan PM says has “never put Olympics first”

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that he has never “put the Olympics first”, the same day an opinion poll showed nearly 60% of people in Japan want the Olympics cancelled less than three months before they begin.

Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of May and is struggling to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising further questions about whether the Games should go on. Its vaccination rate is the lowest among wealthy nations. read more

International Olympic officials, Tokyo planners and Suga himself have insisted the Games will go on in “a safe and secure” way. Foreign spectators have been barred and planners issued an elaborate playbook of rules last month aimed at preventing coronavirus infections.

But a public opinion survey, conducted from May 7-9 by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily, showed 59% wanted the Games cancelled as opposed to 39% who said they should be held. “Postponement” was not offered as an option.

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