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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs