Global poll on Tokyo Olympics

Global poll finds weak interest in Tokyo Olympics as Thomas Bach makes China gaffe

68% of Japanese adults say they are 'not very interested' or 'not at all interest

Global poll finds weak interest in Tokyo Olympics as Thomas Bach makes China gaffe

Most countries surveyed score below 50% for Tokyo 2020 interest

IOC president compounds Olympics PR issues by mistakenly referring to hosts as 'Chinese'

A new international poll has revealed that global interest in the Tokyo Olympics is waning, with hosts Japan one of the least enthusiastic countries.

The Ipsos Global Advisor survey of more than 19,000 adults across 28 countries found the lowest support for the Games was in South Korea, where just 14 per cent are interested, with Japan's score in that metric at 22 per cent. Most countries surveyed were below the 50 per cent threshold, with the US just above at 52 per cent.

Spectators banned from Tokyo 2020

The survey, conducted between 21st May and 4th June, also discovered that a global average of 54 per cent of respondents were either 'not very interested' or 'not at all interested' in the Games.

In Japan, that disinterest figure rose to 68 per cent. Perhaps that is no surprise given that due to concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 virus variants, local spectators have now been banned from attending all Olympic events in and around Tokyo, and Japanese officials are also urging residents to watch the Olympics on television.

Respondents in Turkey, where Istanbul is bidding for the 2036 Olympics, expressed the most support, with 71 per cent saying they thought holding the Tokyo Games is the right move. While Indian respondents also backed the Games, with 70 per cent showing at least some interest.

Public relations for the Olympics took another hit in Japan with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach using his during his first public appearance to mistakenly refer to his hosts as Chinese.

While praising the Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee (TOC) on the 13th of July, Bach stumbled over his words saying: “Our common target is safe and secure games for everybody – for the athletes, for all the delegations, and most importantly also for the Chinese people – Japanese people."

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