Public opinion is divided, and netizens show strong opposition. 

The Olympics have become a pretty controversial topic lately, especially considering the highly divided opinions of Japanese people on the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The whole situation brought to light a lot of the complications that come with hosting the Olympics, let alone in the midst of a pandemic, and a lot of people now wonder whether it’s worthwhile to put their cities’ hats in the ring for future games.

In fact, now that the northern Japanese city of Sapporo in Hokkaido is in the running to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, a lot of people have expressed their opposition to the idea. A nationwide survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center showed fairly divided opinions on the matter. 45 percent of respondents were in favor of the idea, while 34 percent were against it. Another 21 percent said, “I’m not sure”, indicating that a good portion of the population may feel some uncertanties about the idea. Additionally, the opinions of respondents in Hokkaido were even more evenly divided between opposed and in favor, which indicates that more local people are opposed than non-local.

And for good reason. There are a lot of concerns that go with hosting the Olympics, chief among them the cost. Sapporo officials have announced that hosting the Olympics would cost between 280 to 300 billion yen (US$2.43 to $2.6 billion),  which is a huge burden for a city that’s has only one seventh the population that Tokyo does. Where would that money come from, and what kind of burden would that be on the city’s residents?

▼ Sapporo’s famous TV tower and central Odori Park

Because of this, netizen opinions are pretty firmly opposed. A search on Twitter revealed very few positive opinions on the idea of hosting the Olympics in Sapporo, and many more worried about the use of taxpayer money do so.

“Why is the Constitutional Democratic mayor of Sapporo trying to enter the bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics when he was against Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics? Ridiculous.”
“After all that happened it’s completely absurd that Sapporo wants to host the Olympics! That’s not what our taxes are for!”
“They’ve started the reckless bid to get the Olympics in Sapporo. Will the taxpayers even get a say? Isn’t this some kind of subversion of democracy?”
“The biggest reason [so many local residents are opposed] is because Sapporo isn’t like Tokyo and doesn’t have much money. I heard that it took Nagano 20 years to pay back the debts they incurred from hosting the Olympics.”
“Japan has no money and yet they still want to host the Olympics in Sapporo? Use the money to support the people!”

The Mayor of Sapporo, Katsuhiro Akimoto, announced that the prefecture of Hokkaido intends to survey its residents directly about their opinions about a possible Sapporo 2030 Winter Olympics. However, he made sure to clarify that the survey will not be to ascertain whether they support or oppose the idea. “It will be to judge the policies,” he said, though the meaning of that statement is somewhat unclear. He also added that, even if support for the bid is on the low side, they intend to press on with it regardless.

Who knows what will happen? Maybe the survey conducted by the prefecture of Hokkaido will show just the extent of local opposition, and maybe the government will take it into account when making their final decision. Or maybe they will push through with the plan regardless. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Yahoo! News via My Game News Flash, Twitter, Hokkaido Shimbun
Top image: Wikipedia (edited by SoraNews24)

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