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Opinion poll on sports: Public wants gov’t to back athletes’ training

  • 2015-02-27 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: February 21, 2015—p. 29)

 

 In a recent nationwide mail-in public opinion survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun to probe public attitudes on sports, many indicated they are looking forward to hosting the Olympic Games in Japan, such as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, and excited about Sapporo’s candidacy to host the Winter Olympic Games. At the same time, there are also many voices hoping that the government and other public entities will stand behind athletes for their training. In the popularity ranking of athletes, Kei Nishikori, a professional tennis player who finished second in last year’s U.S. Open Tennis Championships, topped all other popular athletes active in the international arena.

 

 Questions & answers (%)

 

 Q: What sports do you like to watch? Pick as many as you like.

 

Professional baseball

46

Major League (U.S. professional baseball)

11

High school baseball

46

College baseball

2

Professional soccer

31

Overseas professional soccer

10

High school soccer

10

Rugby

6

Golf

19

Marathons

31

Ekiden (long-distance relay road race)

42

Track and field events

12

Gymnastics

23

Competitive swimming

16

Synchronized swimming

6

Volleyball

27

Tennis

28

Table tennis

10

Boxing

18

Pro-wrestling

6

Grand sumo tournaments

28

Judo

10

Kendo

4

Motor sports (e.g., motor boat, airplane, 4-wheel automobile, motorcycle racing)

7

Skiing, snowboarding

11

Speed skating

5

Figure skating

50

Other answers (O/A)

4

Nothing in particular (NIP)

5

No answer (N/A)

0

 Q: Who’s your favorite athlete? Name up to three athletes, whether they are professional or amateur or Japanese or non-Japanese.

 

Ranking

Name

Sporting event or team:

Votes

1

Kei Nishikori

Tennis

272

2

Ichiro Suzuki

MLB (Miami Marlins)

218

3

Yuzuru Hanyu

Figure skating

152

4

Mao Asada

Figure skating

147

5

Shigeo Nagashima

Yomiuri Giants lifetime honorary manager

70

6

Masahiro Tanaka

MLB (New York Yankees)

52

7

Sadaharu Oh

Baseball

47

8

Keisuke Honda

A.C. Milan, Italy

42

9

Kohei Uchimura

Gymnastics

39

10

Hideki Matsui

Baseball

32

11

Hideki Matsuyama

Golf

31

12

Hakuho

Sumo wrestling

29

13

Shohei Otani

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

28

14

Yasuhito Endo

Gamba Osaka

27

Saori Kimura

Volleyball

27

16

Shinnosuke Abe

Yomiuri Giants

25

17

Hayato Sakamoto

Yomiuri Giants

22

Hideo Nomo

Baseball

22

19

Daisuke Takahashi

Figure skating

21

20

Kasumi Ishikawa

Table tennis

20

Kazuyoshi Miura

Yokohama F.C.

20

Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona, Spain

20

 Q: What’s your favorite Japanese professional baseball team? If any, pick only one. (*Teams listed in the order of last season’s standings.)

 

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23

Central League

Pacific League

Yomiuri Giants

26

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

5

Hanshin Tigers

11

Orix Buffaloes

0

Hiroshima Carp

3

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

4

Chunichi Dragons

3

Chiba Lotte Marines

1

Yokohama DeNA BayStars

2

Saitama Seibu Lions

2

Yakult Swallows

1

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

4

Interested but no favorite team

12

Not interested

N/A

3

 


 

 

 Q: (Only for those who gave the name of a team to the foregoing question) Why? Pick as many reasons as you like.

 

Because my favorite player is (was) on the team

32

Because I like its manager

12

Because it’s strong

11

Because it’s a rising team

8

Because it’s a team playing in my local community or hometown

32

Because it’s a team that has been around for years

16

Because it’s always been my favorite team

43

Because it’s my family’s or my friend’s favorite team

16

O/A

4

N/A

2

 Q: What do you hope for from professional baseball now? Pick as many as you like.

 

Exciting play

43

Shorter games

12

National star players

25

Better fan service, more ballpark facilities

15

More international games

10

More games with non-professional teams

7

Active trades from team to team

6

A new draft system to better reflect players’ hopes

18

Extended telecasts

21

O/A

2

NIP

23

N/A

3

 Q: Tokyo will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020. Are you interested in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics?

 

Very interested

38

Somewhat interested

45

Not very interested

13

Not interested at all

4

N/A

1

 Q: In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo, as its host, is vested with the right to propose additional sporting events. What would you like to be added among those that were considered as additional sports for the Olympic Games in the past but are currently not included? Pick only one from among those listed below.

 

Baseball, softball

68

Karate

6

Roller sports

1

Squash

2

Wakeboarding

1

Martial arts

1

Sportrock climbing

1

NIP

20

N/A

2

 Q: Ahead of hosting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the government is aiming to establish a “Sports Agency” for sports administration for such purposes as training athletes and promoting sports. What would you like the Sports Agency to do in particular? Pick up to three from among those listed below.

 

Train top athletes

43

Activate sports associations

24

Support school physical education, sports club activities

26

Support off-school club activities

11

Spread lifetime sports

20

Spread sports for the handicapped

20

Promote public health, improve physical strength

20

Invite international events, promote international exchanges through sports

21

Prevent scandals in the sporting world

12

O/A

0

NIP

10

N/A

2

 Q: The city of Sapporo has announced its candidacy to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Do you approve of Sapporo’s hosting the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games?

 

Yes

85

No

11

N/A

4

 Polling methodology: A total of 3,000 persons were chosen from among all eligible voters throughout the country (at 250 locations on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis). The questionnaire was sent out on Jan. 14 to those chosen for the survey and was sent back from 2,044 persons by Feb. 16. Valid answers were obtained from 1,975 persons (66%), excluding answers from those not subject to the survey.

 

 Breakdown of respondents: Male—51%, female—49%; persons in their 20s—10%, 30s—15%, 40s—19%, 50s—16%, 60s—20%, 70 and over—20%.

 

 (Note) In some cases, the total percentage does not add up to 100% due to rounding. "0" denotes percentages less than 0.5%. (Abridged)

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