Sapporo will hold a mayoral election which will determine the fate of its 2030 bid ©Getty Images

A new survey has revealed that nearly half of voters in Sapporo do not want the Japanese city to host the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, with the bid facing an imminent test at the ballot box.

In December, the Japanese Olympic Committee decided to pause the Sapporo bid for the 2030 Games due to the fallout from the ongoing investigation into alleged corruption involving the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The bid could be kick-started following a mayoral election, however, which will take place on Sunday (April 9).

If incumbent Sapporo Mayor Katsushiro Akimoto is returned to office the bid could resume as the other two candidates are anti-Olympic.

They are Kaoru Takano and Hideo Kibata, who have both expressed that they would like the city to end its bid.

The election of either would almost inevitably lead to Sapporo dropping out of the race for 2030 entirely.

Takano believes the "billions" spent on the Olympics should be used on social welfare, health care and better snow removal, while Kibata is backed by Japanese communists and is also prioritising health care. 

In the survey by Asahi Shimbun, 47 per cent of voters were in favour of ending the bid with 38 per cent wanting it to continue.

Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they would consider the stance of the mayoral candidates towards hosting the 2030 Games on election day.

Sapporo last hosted a Winter Olympics in 1972 ©Getty Images
Sapporo last hosted a Winter Olympics in 1972 ©Getty Images

However, 33 per cent said they are not influenced by the status of the Olympic bid.

The majority of people believe that the city should have a public referendum on whether Sapporo should host the Olympics, with 79 per cent of respondents voting in favour of this and just nine per cent voting against the idea.

Sapporo officials have resisted a referendum, however, as they see the election as a substitute.

Switzerland and Sweden are among other countries also in the frame to host in 2030.

Vancouver had entered the race but the Government of British Columbia announced it would not fund a bid.

Salt Lake City in the US has not ruled out 2030 but would prefer to stage the 2034 Games to avoid close proximity with the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics.

In December 2022, the International Olympic Committee postponed its plans to confirm a host for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at this year's Session in Mumbai following issues with several interested parties.

Sapporo's stance will be more clear by the end of this weekend.

A number of companies have been indited in Japan over alleged corruption and bid-rigging involving Tokyo 2020.

The scandal has severely damaged Sapporo's chances of hosting the Games for the second time after the 1972 edition.