TOKYO: More than half of Tokyo’s households watched the Olympics opening ceremony live on television — the second-highest figure since the 1964 Tokyo Games, a survey showed on Monday.
The virus-postponed Games are being held in largely empty stadiums due to the Covid-19 threat and polls before they opened showed strong opposition as cases rose.
But that did not stop people tuning in to watch the opening on July 23, according to Japan’s Video Research Ltd.
It found 56.4 percent of households in greater Tokyo watched the event, with tennis star Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron after Japan’s emperor declared the Games open.
The figure was second only to the ceremony that opened the Games in 1964, the last time Tokyo hosted the event, when 61.2 percent of households in the capital were watching.
And it far outstripped the viewing figures in Tokyo for more recent Games, including 23.6 percent for the 2016 Rio Olympics, 24.9 percent for the 2012 London edition and 37.3 percent for the 2008 Beijing Games.
The survey was conducted among around 2,700 households in Tokyo and six surrounding prefectures.