News / Arts & Entertainment

    Tokyo Gears Up for 2020 Olympics

    Tokyo Gears Up for 2020 Olympicsi
    X
    October 19, 2013 1:41 PM
    Construction already is beginning on the venues that will host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the Japanese capital, there is much excitement over hosting the Games, but also some concerns.
    Henry Ridgwell
    Construction already is beginning on the venues that will host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There is much excitement over hosting the Games, but also some concerns.

    The scene is the annual inter-school sports festival inside Japan’s National Stadium, central Tokyo. For the hundreds of young hopefuls, it’s an early taste of the adrenaline and glory that the 2020 Olympics will bring to their city.

    Among them is 14-year-old Mousei Saeki. He said he really wants to come and see the games because there will be many great athletes coming from over the world.

    This stadium hosted the 1964 Olympic Games - just as Japan’s economy was beginning its post-war boom.

    And it is economics that played a big part in Tokyo winning the right to host the Games once again, says Tokyo 2020 CEO, Masato Mizuno.

    “City Tokyo has a hosting fund of US$4.5 billion. This is in the bank already, so we can build all the facilities,” said Mizuno.

    Work on demolishing the old 1964 stadium already has begun. In its place will be a futuristic new stadium.

    Polls show 92 percent of Japanese people support Tokyo 2020. But mixed with the patriotic pride, there are some doubts.

    Sixty-four-year-old taxi driver Jou Iwasaki remembers the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He said that for young people, the Olympics give hopes and dreams, and that’s good. He said at first, though, he was really against it, citing the precious green spaces that will be lost in the area. He also mentioned the high costs that will be required to maintain the facilities.

    Concerns over the cost of the Games prompted activists to launch the group "Hangorin" - literally, anti Olympic rings. Spokespeople Tetsuo Ogawa and his colleague, who gave his name as Sakura, explain.

    Ogawa said in every country that has hosted the Olympics, the city always has had to rebuild, and only a small part of the population benefits.

    Sakura added that two years after the earthquake and tsunami, people continue to live in temporary housing. The government won’t spend any money on them but they’re going to spend money on the Tokyo Olympics.

    Tokyo 2020 CEO Mizuno said, however, that income from the Olympics will benefit all of Japan - including the tsunami-hit Tohoku region.

    “Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will make such a big economical effect. Directly we said US$30 billion economical effect, and then also 150,000 direct employment,” he said.

    Concerns over the stability of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant threatened to derail Tokyo’s Olympic bid - prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address the International Olympic Committee to assure them of its safety.

    Mizuno insists Fukushima will not cast a shadow over Tokyo 2020. “The government promised to solve the problems. So we believe in the prime minister’s word. So then also, records show that the level of radiation in Tokyo is very stable and low.”

    The hope of the city and its people is that the Fukushima crisis will be long out of the headlines by the time the opening ceremony lights up the new stadium for the Games.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: gig from: California
    October 22, 2013 10:37 PM
    I don't understand why WOC admit the holding up the Olympic games in Japan. That country does not prove the radioacive-proof evironment?

    by: Anonymous
    October 22, 2013 6:15 PM
    Tokyo is a concern let's handle it appropreately and pick a different megacity!!

    by: Anonymous
    October 22, 2013 6:13 PM
    My response to Tokyo being picked for 2020 Olympics is concerning. I believe the nuclear plant meltdown can and will affect the Olympics. I believe there could be another megacity we can use other than Tokyo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.

    New in Music Alley

    Beyond Category: Arturo Sandovali
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 02, 2016 3:53 PM
    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.

    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.