Leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, a poll showed this May that 83% of Japanese residents were opposed to hosting the Games. Since then, COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have climbed from around 400 a day to more than 3,000 on July 28. How are the locals feeling about the Olympics taking place during a state of emergency?
NBCLX storyteller Fernando Hurtado, covering the Olympics onsite, went to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo to speak with locals and get their opinions on the Games and COVID-19.
While mask-wearing is common in Japan, people there have less confidence in vaccines – 47% compared to 87% in Britain – contributing to Japan’s relatively low rate of fully vaccinated people, 27%.
Reactions to the Olympics among the people Hurtado spoke to were mixed, from “a little bit scared” to “very excited.”
As one woman told Hurtado, “I think in any case, any decision [regarding holding the Olympics] could be criticized after. So rather than criticizing the government, we should think what we could do [to prevent the spread of COVID-19], how we could protect ourselves.”