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Sunday, September 08, 2013

How stupid Japan is to have another Olympics in Tokyo

I wonder if I'm the only person who watched the news with horror that Tokyo won the right to host 2020 Olympics.

Initially instigated by then Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, whose ultra-nationalist views are constant source of anger among Asian countries and an enormous embarrassment for decent Japanese citizens, Japan finally got what it has been ferociously campaigning for a long time.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe, who came from near my hometown in Yamaguchi prefecture, was understandably euphoric.

"Some have worries about Fukushima. Let me assure you the situation is under control. It has never done, and will not do, any damage to Tokyo."

First of all, how can anyone who has been following Japan's response to the horrific disaster take these comments seriously?
Japan has unashamedly been demonstrating to the world that it's supremely capable of producing fabricated stories when it comes to the safety of nuclear facilities.

As important as this, how can any human being, let alone a politician, have an audacity and scientific certainty to say that Tokyo will be safe forever?
Does he understand the nature of radio active materials? No one can build a fence to prevent it from spreading through air and water.

If  I were a citizen of Fukushima, I would take serious offence at the comment.
What they need more than anything is a sense of community spirit, whereby they feel assured, embraced and included in the recovery from the horror towards a bright future.
"Fukushima is bad, but, Tokyo is safe and clean" message doesn't do any good, in my opinion.
Now, Fukushima sounds like some kind of stinking garbage that nobody wants to be associated with.

And, where will they find an energy source from? It's nearly at full capacity now.
Are they going back to nuclear?

Abe evokes his childhood memory when he was at the opening ceremony in Tokyo 1964, saying, "the Olympics is part of my DNA".
That only shows his privileged upbringing, born into a well-established political clan.

Another thing that worries me is that Princess Takamado was involved in Japan's final presentation.
This is the first time anyone from Imperial family addressed the IOC.
I'm no expert on Constitution, but, as far as I'm concerned, they're prohibited from engaging in any political activities.

"The Olympic bid has given the young people in the area something to dream for, the motivation to move forward with courage." she said in fluent French.

Abe added, "Today under the blue sky of Fukushima, there are young boys playing football and looking into the future and not the past."

These hackneyed, unabashedly sentimental sales pitch seemed well-received by members of IOC.
At the end of a day, they had no choice, is there?
Madrid is infested with economic gloom, and Istanbul is too close to Syria and nominally an Islamic country.

It's been a long time since scientists started to warn that a catastrophic earthquake will hit Tokyo area anytime soon, as has been doing so every hundred year for centuries.
Everybody in Japan knows this and they all know it's of greatest importance to decentralise Tokyo, relocating government and economic facilities away from the centre.

There have been numerous attempts to do exactly that, but, as is often the case, nothing has eventuated, due mainly to usual political manoeuvrings.
On the contrary, Tokyo is getting bigger and bigger and more crowded.
Once Tokyo is hit, Japan as a country will be dead.

To have another Olympics in Tokyo is an attempt to make this apocalyptic scenario even worse.
It's an act of utmost stupidity.

What Japan needs is downsizing, and it needs to learn to live a small but sustained progress in a rapidly shrinking population base.
Olympics 1964 worked very well for Japan, when it was recording double digit GDP growth every year. It doesn't need nor can afford a big firework like Olympics any more.

Japan is ageing rapidly, still suffering from decades of stagflation, it has one of the highest national debt in the world, at staggering one quadrillion yen (that's 15 zeros), 10.5 trillion dollars.

The government has already allocated 4.5 billion dollars for this Olympics endeavour.
That money should be going towards decentralisation of Tokyo as I mentioned above, and on healthcare for the aged, education, entrepreneurship, redevelopment of disaster ares, new energy technology and so on.
That would truly be nation building projects for the future of Japan, surely giving a hope and encouragement to a boy in Fukushima. And money well spent.

Olympics in Tokyo 2020 is not.

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