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Over 70 pct of foreigners oppose Tokyo Games as planned, survey

Tokyo, March 21 (Jiji Press)–A recent survey has found that over 70 pct of respondents in each of the United States, France, China, South Korea and Thailand think the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games should be put off further or canceled as the novel coronavirus continues to batter the world.


The rate came to 95.6 pct in Thailand, highest among the five nations, followed by 94.7 pct in South Korea, 82.1 pct in China, 74.4 pct in the United States and 70.6 pct in France, according to the survey by the Japan Press Research Institute.


Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who said the Tokyo Games should take place this summer as scheduled stood at 25.8 pct in France, 24.5 pct in the United States, 17.9 pct in China, 4.4 pct in Thailand and 3 pct in South Korea.


The Summer Olympics and Paralympics, originally scheduled for 2020, were put off to this year due to the spread of the coronavirus across the globe. The Olympics is slated to be held between late July and early August, and the Paralympics between late August and early September.


The organization conducts the survey, launched in 2015, through research institutes in the five countries. For the latest survey, some 1,000 people from each of the five nations gave responses between December 2020 and January this year.


The survey also showed that 89.6 pct of respondents in Thailand, highest of all five nations, have a good impression of Japan, followed by 79.6 pct in the United States and 77.8 pct in France.


The share of people feeling close to Japan stood at 39.7 pct in China, up 6.2 percentage points from the previous survey carried out in 2019, and at 31.3 pct in South Korea, up 8.6 pct.


The rise in China came apparently because Japan provided the country with novel coronavirus-related support during the initial phase of the outbreak, a representative for the survey in China said.


A representative for the survey in South Korea said that Shinzo Abe’s resignation as Japanese prime minister last September generated expectations for a better relationship between the two countries, leading to the improvement in the rate of South Koreans with a good image of the neighboring country.


The proportion of those who see Japan as trustworthy rose by 13.1 points to 38.8 pct in China and by 6.7 points to 19.7 pct in South Korea.

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