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Tokyo Olympics sponsor Toyota says it will not run Games-related TV commercials amid lacklustre public support for the Olympics, with two-thirds of Japanese doubting organisers can keep the Games safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a local media poll.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and other executives will not attend the opening ceremony, Toyota said on Monday.
"It is true that Toyota will not be attending the opening ceremony, and the decision was made considering various factors including no spectators," a spokesperson said.
"We will not be airing any commercials related to the Games in Japan," she added.
Some 60 Japanese corporations who have paid more than $US3 billion for sponsorship rights to the postponed 2020 Olympics now face a dilemma of whether or not to tie their brands to an event that has so far failed to win strong public backing.
With just four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, 68 per cent of respondents in an Asahi newspaper poll expressed doubt about the ability of Olympic organisers to control coronavirus infections, with 55 per cent saying they were opposed to the Games going ahead.
Three-quarters of the 1444 people in the telephone survey said they agreed with a decision to ban spectators from events.
As COVID-19 cases rise in Tokyo, which is under a fourth state of emergency, public concern has grown that hosting an event with tens of thousands of overseas athletes, officials and journalists could accelerate infection rates in Japan's capital and introduce variants that are more infectious or deadlier.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Japanese public will warm to the Games once competition begins and as Japanese athletes begin winning medals. The Olympics run July 23 through August 8.
Games officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the athletes' village in Tokyo where 11,000 athletes are expected stay during the Games.
On Monday the Czech Republic team announced that beach volleyballer Ondrej Perusic returned a positive to a COVID-19 test taken at the village on Sunday.
Perusic, 26, was due to play his first match on July 26, which the team said was now unlikely due to isolation requirements.
Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.
Any major outbreak in the village could wreak havoc on competitions because those either infected or isolating would not be able to compete. Olympic officials and individual event organisers have contingency plans to deal with infections among athletes.
A Games spokesperson said the village was a safe place to stay, adding the infection rate among athletes and other Games-related people visiting Japan was nearly 0.1 per cent.
On Sunday six British track and field athletes along with two staff members were forced to isolate after someone on their flight to Japan tested positive for COVID-19.
New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1410 on Saturday, the most since the start of the year, with new infections exceeding 1000 for five straight days.
Most of those new cases are among younger people, as Japan has succeeded in getting most of its vulnerable elderly population vaccinated with at least one shot, although only 32 per cent of the overall population has so far received one.