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Most Japanese don’t want foreign fans at Olympics: poll

(A decision on whether to allow foreign fans at the Tokyo Games should come this month. Photo: AFP)

TOKYO, (AFP):- More than 75% of Japanese oppose overseas fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, a poll showed Monday, as organisers prepare to make a decision on foreign spectators.

The poll, by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily, found that only 18% of people who responded were in favour of foreign spectators being allowed into Japan for the coronavirus-delayed Games, with 77% against.

Games organisers said last week that they plan to rule on the matter this month, likely before the nationwide torch relay begins on March 25.

But Japanese media say Games chiefs have already decided to bar foreign fans.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said Friday that organisers “really want to hold the event in full stadiums with fans from around the world”, but would find it difficult “if we’re not in a position where we can accept them and the situation with medical facilities isn’t perfect”.

The Yomiuri poll also revealed that 45% of respondents were in favour of spectators in general attending the Games, with 48% opposed.

Organisers have said they plan to make a decision on overall attendance limits in April.

The poll was conducted between March 5-7 through random phone calls, with 1,066 of the 1,977 people contacted responding.

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