Japan Data

Japanese Teenagers Losing Enthusiasm for Tokyo Olympics?

Sports Society Economy

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics appears to have dampened enthusiasm among young Japanese for the event.

An online survey by The Nippon Foundation, targeting 1,000 17- to 19-year-olds, found that interest in the Tokyo Olympics has dropped considerably compared to last year. In a 2019 survey, approximately 70% of respondents were looking forward to either the Olympics or Paralympics, or both. This interest has dropped to 55.5% in July 2020.

When the 2020 survey respondents were asked what issues needed to be taken into account for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, an overwhelming 74.0% said COVID-19. In the 2019 survey, before that issue arose, people’s main concerns were split between extreme heat, terrorism, and traffic congestion. However, the majority now feel that it is impossible to hold a large-scale sports event without coronavirus countermeasures.

Concerns about the ongoing pandemic seem to have affected opinions about the event’s viability. When asked about the holding of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021, around 40% said it would or should be postponed another year to 2022 or held after the 2024 Paris Olympics. A further 20% answered that the event would or should be cancelled, while 28.0% felt it would or should still go ahead in 2021.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The Japan National Stadium on January 2, 2020. © Jiji.)

Olympics Paralympics