Majority of Japanese firms are against holding Olympics next summer: survey

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building is lit up with the Olympic symbol colors on the day marking the one-year countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - More than half of Japanese companies believe the Tokyo Olympics, originally planned for this summer but postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus, should be cancelled or put off again, a survey by a Japanese think-tank found.

Of some 13,000 companies that responded to the poll by Tokyo Shoko Research, 27.8% said the sporting event should be cancelled while 25.8% saw another postponement as desirable.

Japan lifted in late May a state of emergency imposed to stop the coronavirus, as it recorded fewer infections, but cases started to increase again in July.

“With the end of the spread of infection nowhere in sight, companies are divided into for and against holding the event in 2021,” the research group said in a report, published on Thursday.

Of the companies surveyed, 22.5% believed the Tokyo Olympics should be held as planned while 18.4% said they ought to be held with fewer spectators and 5.3% said they should be held with no spectators.

The poll was conducted over the Internet between late July and early August.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Robert Birsel