Poll highlights Japanese doubts over a safe Olympics

With only days to go before the Olympics begin in Tokyo, a new poll shows Japan remains divided on whether the Games should go ahead.

On Monday, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper published a survey of more than 1400 people and found two-thirds do not believe Japan can host a safe and secure Olympics.

The same number also do not believe organisers can bring the virus under control despite current precautions.

More than three-quarters of Asahi's respondents agreed with the ban on spectators at the Games.

Also on Monday, local media reported that given lackluster public support, Tokyo 2020 sponsor Toyota said it would not be running TV commercials related to the Games.

The Yomiuri newspaper also reported that Toyota's CEO, Akio Toyoda, would not attend the opening ceremony on Friday.

Toyota did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Japan is currently dealing with another fresh wave of infections, with cases on the rise, and the capital Tokyo under a fourth state of emergency.

Public concern has grown that hosting an event which would attract tens of thousands of foreigners could only speed up the spread of infections, or introduce variants that are more contagious or deadlier.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach hopes however that the Japanese public will warm to the Games once competition begins, and as he says, when the Japanese athletes begin winning medals.

Cases have already been reported out of the athletes' village in Tokyo, where 11,000 athletes are expected to live together.

So far this month, there've been 58 cases among athletes, officials, and journalists, all there for the Games.