(Yomiuri: February 22, 2016 – p. 2)
The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a nationwide public opinion poll (by postal mail) on sports. When asked to select up to three areas on which the national government and other related organizations should focus in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics, 54% of respondents said “strengthening terrorism countermeasures.” This shows the rise in public awareness of the importance of security and public safety measures in light of the terrorist attacks in Paris last year. The second most frequently selected response was “improving Japan’s athletic performance so that the athletes earn medals” at 35%.
A large percentage of respondents (82%) said that they “are interested” in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics (83% in last year’s survey). Only 17% said that they thought preparations “are going smoothly,” while 80% said preparations “are not going smoothly.” These figures are thought to reflect the troubles that have arisen in connection with the selection of the Olympic logo and the plans for the new National Stadium, which will serve as the main venue.
When asked which sporting events they expected Japanese athletes to win medals in at the Rio Olympic Games this August (multiple answers permitted), 65% of respondents selected men’s “gymnastics,” making that the most frequent response. It seems that Japan’s performance at last year’s World Gymnastics Championship – Kohei Uchimura’s being named the individual world champion for the sixth time and the Japanese team’s capturing the men’s team gold medal for the first time in 37 years – led to this survey result.
The survey was conducted from mid-January to mid-February.