Sapporo, March 16 (Jiji Press)–A majority of people in Hokkaido are in favor of hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sapporo, said the capital of Japan’s northernmost prefecture Wednesday.
“We have gained a certain level of support” for the bid to host the 2030 Games, Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto told reporters about preliminary survey results. “We’ll seek cooperation from relevant organizations in order to take the next step.”
Public opinion was collected between March 2 and Monday in mail, online and street surveys. Valid responses came from a total of 13,875 Sapporo and Hokkaido residents.
The mail survey gained responses from 5,775 of the 10,000 surveyed Sapporo residents. Those in favor or somewhat in favor of the bid made up 52 pct of the total respondents, while 39 pct opposed or somewhat opposed it.
In the online survey, covering 5,540 Sapporo and Hokkaido residents, the share of respondents in favor or somewhat in favor stood at 57 pct, against 26 pct who opposed or somewhat opposed the bid.
In the street survey, conducted with 2,560 movie theater visitors, 65 pct were in favor or somewhat in favor of the bid, while 26 pct opposed or somewhat opposed it.
Detailed survey results will be released in April.
The proportion of opponents was higher in the mail survey with Sapporo residents than in the other surveys, which included Hokkaido residents outside the city.
Mayor Akimoto said, “We’ll continue dialogue with citizens and boost efforts to dispel their concerns.”
Sapporo is making preparations to host the 2030 Games, expecting the International Olympic Committee to select the host city at a general meeting in May-June 2023.