• Kyodo

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About 79 percent of the public approves of Tuesday’s decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics by about a year in light of the coronavirus pandemic, a survey found Saturday.

The three-day nationwide telephone poll from Thursday to Saturday found that 78.7 percent say the delay is “appropriate” and 11.1 percent favor a two-year delay.

The Summer Games were initially due to begin on July 24.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed to the unprecedented delay during a teleconference Tuesday and also raised concerns about the considerable logistic challenges and extensive shuffling of the international sports calendar for 2021 that it would require.

As for emergency measures to ease the economic pain being inflicted by the pandemic, 43.4 percent said they prefer a rollback of the Oct. 1 consumption tax hike to 10 percent from 8 percent, which is weighing down household spending and business investment.

To underpin consumer spending, 32.6 percent said they favor cash handouts, a measure being considered by the government and ruling coalition.

The poll, conducted by Kyodo News, also found that the public approval rating for Abe’s Cabinet has fallen 4.2 points to 45.5 percent.

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