An online petition with more than 350,000 signatures calling for the Tokyo 2020 Games to be cancelled has been submitted to organisers on Friday.
The campaign, called “Stop Tokyo Olympics”, claims holding the Games will divert crucial medical services from the general public.
It comes as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Japan, where less than two per cent of the population has been vaccinated.
- Protester gatecrashes IOC press conference
- Anti-Olympics campaign gains online traction
Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto says she is taking opinions against the Olympics “seriously” and hopes details of the medical plans in place will help reassure the public of a “safe and secure” Games.
On Friday, the Japanese government expanded a state of emergency, due to last until the end of the month, to a total of nine areas to try and slow the rate of infections.
The additions include Japan’s northern island state of Hokkaido, where the Olympic marathon will be held, as well as Hiroshima and Okayama in western Japan.
Around 40 Japanese towns have also recently abandoned plans to host Olympic athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the Games begin – the latest signal of unease among people in Japan over hosting the event in the midst of a global pandemic.
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