A petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled this year has gained almost 200,000 signatures in the past few days, with public concerns mounting over holding the Games in the midst of a pandemic.
According to reports, the state of emergency in Tokyo has been extended until at least the end of May in order to tackle rising coronavirus infections.
Questions remain over how Tokyo will be able to hold the global event whilst keeping volunteers, athletes, officials, as well as the Japanese public safe.
Since its launch, an online campaign called "Stop Tokyo Olympics" has gathered more than 187,000 signatures, (at time of writing) nearing its 200,000 goal and underscoring public concerns over holding the massive sporting event in Japan's capital.
Opinion polls in Japan have found a majority of the public is opposed to the Games, which are due to open on July 23.
"We strongly call for the prevention of spread of coronavirus and protection of lives and livelihood by using available resources to stop the Olympics," Kenji Utsunomiya, the online petition organiser, wrote on his website. Utsunomiya is a lawyer who has run several times for Tokyo governor.
The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, has said that it would be "very difficult" for her counterpart at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, to go ahead with a planned visit to Japan in the next few days.
Author: Jake Wilkin