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Tokyo 2020: Anti-Olympic protesters rally to demand cancellation

More than 80 percent of Japanese oppose hosting the virus-postponed Olympics this year, a new poll showed on Monday, underlining public antipathy less than 10 weeks before the Tokyo Games.

The latest downbeat survey comes after Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency Friday as the nation battles a fourth wave of infections.

The surge in cases has put pressure on the country's healthcare system, with medical professionals repeatedly warning about shortages and burnout.

The weekend poll by the Asahi Shimbun daily found 43 percent of respondents want the 2020 Games cancelled, and 40 percent want a further postponement.

Those figures are up from 35 percent who backed cancellation in a survey by the paper a month ago, and 34 percent who wanted a further delay.

"I am one of those in the 80 percent. I think the Olympics should be postponed. Is it that difficult to postpone it?" passer-by Sumiko Usui, 74, told AFP in Tokyo.

Takahiro Yoshida, 53, also expressed doubts over the event, which involves thousands of overseas athletes, officials and media.

"In my honest opinion, it will be difficult to hold the Games... Athletes from overseas must be worried as well, because Japan's coronavirus situation is bad," he said.

"I want to see it happen, but it will probably be difficult when you think about the bigger picture."

Only 14 percent support holding the Games this summer as scheduled, down from 28 percent, according to the Asahi poll of 1,527 replies from 3,191 telephone calls.

If the Games go ahead, 59 percent of respondents said they want no spectators, with 33 percent backing lower fan numbers and three percent a regular-capacity Games.