People Protest in Streets of Japan, Want Cancellation of Tokyo Olympics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2021

People carry a banner reading "Extinguish the Olympic torch" during a march, calling for the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be held in the middle of a pandemic, in Tokyo, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Japanese citizens held anti-Olympic protests in Tokyo on Monday amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from TMZ Sports

Per TMZ, "People held signs reading, 'Extinguish the Olympic Torch' and 'Cancel the Tokyo Olympics.' The photos show a police presence during the demonstration—but it doesn't appear things got out of hand."

A poll conducted by Japan's Asahi Shimbun found 43 percent percent of the country's citizens who responded want the Tokyo Games canceled, per Agence France-Presse (h/t the Guardian), while another 40 percent when them postponed amidst the coronavirus. 

Just 14 percent of respondents were in favor of holding the Games this summer, while 59 percent said they didn't want spectators present if the Olympics were held this summer, as scheduled. 

And another poll by Kyodo News said that 87.7 percent of respondents are worried that "an influx of athletes and staff members from abroad may spread the virus."

Those concerns come amidst Japan's relatively slow vaccine rollout, with the Kyodo poll showing that 71.1 percent of its respondents were unhappy with the government's vaccine response. 

Japan has also seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, with cities like Osaka and Tokyo under a state of emergency through at least the end of the month.