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63% say Tokyo Games no help to 2011 disaster zone, NHK regional poll

  • September 7, 2021
  • English Press

An NHK poll shows that many people in areas of northeastern Japan hard hit by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident do not feel the Tokyo Olympics helped boost regional reconstruction efforts.


NHK conducted the online survey late last month among residents of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.


One thousand people responded. The average age of respondents was around 50.


Asked whether the Tokyo Olympics helped boost reconstruction efforts in the region, a total of 11 percent expressed a positive view and 63 percent gave a negative response, while 26 percent replied that they couldn’t say.


The respondents were asked if they believe the Games gave them an opportunity to express their gratitude for the support they received and highlight their efforts to overcome the disaster. A total of only 16 percent said they believe so.


In response to a question about whether they believe a publicity campaign run in conjunction with the Games that included offering local food was successful, a total of 19 percent gave a positive assessment.


Asked if the sports competitions and the Olympic torch relay encouraged people in the affected areas, 25 percent expressed a positive view.


Most responses recorded in the poll were negative.


University of Hyogo Professor Kimura Reo says people in the disaster zone feel strongly that recovery efforts were used as a pretext to bring the Olympics to Tokyo.


He also says the coronavirus pandemic made it hard to see what the significance of the Games was.


Kimura stresses the importance of not letting the region and its struggles fade from view now that the Games have ended.

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