Terrie’s Take on Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid, decision due Oct 2. Debito.org wa hantai.


Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

Hi Blog.  Something coming up next week of surprising interest to Debito.org:  Guv Ishihara’s pet project to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Tokyo.  We’ll hear the decision on October 2.  Here’s where Debito.org stands:

While understandable a sentiment (what booster wouldn’t want to bring such a probable economic boon home?), Debito.org has been unflinching in its criticism both of Ishihara (for his xenophobic rantings over the years, start here) and of the Tokyo Police (keishicho), who will no doubt be given charge of the security at the event.  As history has shown repeatedly (G8 Summits, overt and unapologetic racial profiling — even public scapegoating of NJ, border fingerprinting justified on bigoted grounds, deliberate misconstruing of crime data to whip up public fear, even spoiling one of the last Beatles concerts!), you don’t want to hand over matters of public security to a police force without proper checks and balances — because as even Edward Seidensticker noted, Keishicho will convert Tokyo into a police city if the event is big enough.   The Olympics is just that, and it really complicates things by bringing in foreigners, for the police get particularly carrot-arsed when they feel the outside world is watching.  As I wrote for the Japan Times some months ago:

Point is, international events bring out bad habits in Japan. And now we have Tokyo bidding for the 2016 Olympics? Cue yet another orgiastic official fear and crackdown campaign foisted on the Japanese public, with the thick blue line of the nanny state the biggest profiteer.

Conclusion: I don’t think Japan as a polity is mature enough yet to host these events. Japan must develop suitable administrative checks and balances, not to mention a vetting media, to stop people scaring Japanese society about the rest of the world just because it’s coming for a visit. We need to rein in Japan’s mandarins converting Japan into a Police State, cracking down on its already stunted civil society. (Zeit Gist, SUMMIT WICKED THIS WAY COMES, Japan Times April 22, 2008).

Terrie below (understandably) hopes Tokyo gets the Olympics.  I, for the record, hope it doesn’t.  It’s not because I live in Sapporo (I would have mildly supported Fukuoka’s bid, even despite the NPA, simply because Fukuoka never had the chance — unlike Sapporo — to be an Olympic host).  But the fact remains, as Terrie alludes to below, this is just a vanity project for one mean old man, working through Japan’s elite society to get what he wants, who feels as though he’s got one good deed to redeem all his bad works and ill-will over the years.  Other rich elites in their twilight years, such as Andrew Carnegie, have historically felt the same impetus.  But this Olympic bid certainly seems far more half-baked and far less philanthropic than, say, Carnegie’s legacy attempts.

O IOC, don’t fall for Ishihara’s ego.  Spare Tokyo, its tourists, and its ever-more-policed international residents yet another fear and social-control media blitz.  Give the Olympics to somebody else.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

* * * * * * * * * T E R R I E ‘S T A K E * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, September 27, 2009 Issue No. 535


On October 2nd an important overseas decision will be made that will determine the future of Tokyo as a city of international standing. That decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose members will convene in Copenhagen to decide which of Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Tokyo, or Madrid will get to host the 2016 summer Olympic games. All the big wigs involved with trying to get the Games for Tokyo, from Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara on down, flew out to Copenhagen on Saturday (Sep 26th) for their date with fate.

They won’t have to wait long.

Ishihara is trying his best to swing things Tokyo’s way, and reportedly has even asked newly elected PM Yukio Hatoyama and Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki to attend the Copenhagen vote. However, he may have left his final run for the finish line too late. In its report released earlier this month (September), the IOC Evaluation Commission had some criticisms for Tokyo after their visit in April to examine the city’s facilities and planning. They particularly referred to a February poll that the IOC commissioned itself and which found that Tokyoites who “Support Strongly” the Games was just 25.2% — a surprisingly low number compared to any of the other three contenders. Strong support in Madrid, for example was 57.9%.

Indeed, as a result of the poll, the IOC Evaluation Commission specifically noted that Japan’s bid had the strong support of government but correspondingly lacked support by the public. Put another way, we have a classic case of those in charge of the local bid trying hard to get Japan’s “establishment” on board so as to provide sufficient financial support, which was indeed forthcoming, but they somehow forgot to involve the little people — the general public.

When the results of the February poll became public, we don’t know, but the Bid Committee finally “fixed” their PR problem a few days ago (in September, months too late), when a moving, talking 20-meter Gundam character robot was parked in Odaiba to pull in a reported 400,000 people who came to demonstrate their support for the Games bid. As a result, the public support in Tokyo for the Games is now supposed to be around 70%. The only trouble is that few members of the IOC can actually read Japanese newspapers or watch Japanese TV, and so these last minute efforts are unlikely to have much effect.

Indeed, this lack of reach by Japanese media to a world audience is frequently lost on Japanese politicians and governmental organizations, who think that because they can view the media, everyone can. This, in our opinion, is a good reason why Japan fails so frequently in its international bids for just about anything. A good example of this very domestic thinking can be found in the recent “Yokoso Japan” (Visit Japan) campaign. As far as we understand, almost all of the billions of yen allocated by the government to promote tourism were spent in Japan in the Japanese media.

It’s true that domestic tourism was also part of the agenda but foreign tourism was the main target, as proven by setting a high target for increased foreign visitor numbers. As it happened, luckily a short-lived economic boom in China and Korea in 2005-2007 helped pulled in several extra million Asian tourists, but despite some mutual back-patting this was largely accidental, and was certainly not the result of the almost non-existent overseas PR campaign.

Back to the local Bid Committee. In our view, not only did they forget to get buy-in from the man-in-the-street, but they seem have also bypassed 10% of those people who will be paying extra taxes to pay for the extravaganza (Minato-ku, Shibuya-ku, Chiyoda-ku, etc.). We refer, of course, to the invisible foreign community.

Yes, there is an English-language website, which from the dates of the photos and videos we presume was mainly put together for the benefit of the visiting IOC evaluation committee in April to show how cosmopolitan Tokyo is. But frankly it’s embarrassing to look at. Take the the section that carefully provides one and one-only restaurant (well, OK, there are two French establishments) representing 12 different national cuisines. Why couldn’t they make a proper effort to garner support of those hundreds of English-speaking venues that will actually be called upon to look after tens of thousands of non-Japanese speaking guests if we actually win the games?

You can see the Olympic bid English site at http://www.tokyo2016.or.jp/en/. You can see the IOC Evaluation Commission’s report, which includes the Tokyo bid at: http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_1469.pdf

As a further comment to the Bid Committee’s lack of awareness that the Olympics might actually be an international affair, if you go to the site’s organization chart, you will quickly notice that of the 19 officials named on the site, not one is a non-Japanese, and of the 56 “advisors” not one is a non-Japanese either. So we can only assume that foreigners will be asked to keep a low profile while Japan hosts the Games… and to pay their taxes on time.

OK, enough of the sour grapes. It’s not like Tokyo has no chance of winning, although with the Beijing Olympics only just done here in Asia, and there never having been a Games in South America before, the odds are apparently on Rio taking the honors for 2016. You won’t read that fact in the Japanese press, since they’re all saying Tokyo will win.

But it’s not a shoe-in for Rio. In their review, the IOC evaluation commission was concerned about the fact that Rio’s games facilities are spread out over hilly terrain, and the city will need an overhaul of its public transport systems to get guests around. There was also concern about violent crime.

Chicago also has a strong chance according to observers, but it has the problem of whether or not it can really afford the expense of the Games, given the poor shape the local economy after the meltdown of the U.S. auto industry. Also some of the Chicago venues are apparently a long way out of the city and not currently well serviced by public transport.

The other contender, Madrid, got a reasonably negative response that they may not fully appreciate the complexity of management required to host the Games.

Thinking positively, though, if we do win the right to host the Games, it will give the Tokyo metropolitan government a worthy project to focus on, and will cause them to finally do something with those ugly vacant lots built during the bubble era, that they are stuck with out at Odaiba. The venue plan for Tokyo calls for substantial planting of greenery in the area, as well as making the entire athlete’s village ecologically sound — with the latest solar, waste processing, and transport technologies being employed to give Japan a showcase to the world.

To wrap up, we do in fact hope that by some miracle Tokyo wins the 2016 Olympic Games. It would be a blast to be in the middle of all the buzz that will come with such an event. It will also significantly ramp up the world’s awareness of what a great place Tokyo is to live and visit — doing wonders for tourism.

But, in our heart of hearts, we fear that those handling the city’s bid may not have realized that to play a global game, you need to have a world-class team, not just money and government support. We’re not sure that such a team was brought to bear, and so we’re betting that Rio will probably win the hearts of IOC members — especially since South America is long overdue to host what should be a global event.

SUBSCRIBE to, UNSUBSCRIBE from Terrie’s Take at:

http://www.japaninc.com/terries_take, or,

40 comments on “Terrie’s Take on Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid, decision due Oct 2. Debito.org wa hantai.

  • tokyo is not ready to host this event. they have no accountability, and like debito said no checks and balances in there system. the japanese public doesnt support this at all, this campaign is simply being pushed by the old ishihara.

  • a lot of terries criticism is very wide of the mark-japan has an excellent record in getting
    big events-world cup,winter olympics,now rugby world cup.
    the fact that this bid is spearheaded by a man who wants all foreigners rounded up in case of an earthquake and they are still not getting any heat for it means they have an excellent PR team working..
    i agree that the bid team is a joke,(why couldnt they have used people like konishiki?)
    but claiming that an international team is reqd to win the olympics flies in the face of past evidence.
    the fact remains that the olympics are incredibly hard to win ,and most bid cities dont make it on first attempt(rio,chicago).
    having said that the posting on the tokyo bid latest newspage that 100million japanese now support the bid(no mention of this on the japanese page) is pathetic nonsense

  • “You won’t read that fact in the Japanese press, since they’re all saying Tokyo will win.”

    I wonder where he got this. Japanese media are rather sceptical about the chance of Tokyo’s winning.
    For example Asahi says as follows.

    石原都知事「オバマさん出席は織り込み済み」 五輪招致

    印刷 ソーシャルブックマーク





    — Fine invective in the headline: “Rachi”. Sounds like the USA is the DPRK.

  • I have always been against Tokyo getting the Olympics. Please note that I am not against Japan getting the Olympics, but Tokyo itself, mainly for the points Debito has pointed out. A man like Ishihara doesn’t deserve it. And with all the socio-economic problems facing the bully city of Japan, it’s resources should be pointed at more immediate and sustainable solutions other than a 2 week shindig for a cranky xenophobe. It’s insulting to the legacy of the Olympics that such a man should be awarded an event that is about international unity. Even the Tokyo Olympic Committee’s slogan, “Uniting Our Worlds,” reeks of a lame attempt at sounding international without realizing the inference that everyone’s “world” is separate from the other. IF they wanted to sell an image of a many people as one, the slogan should have been “Uniting the World.”
    Anyway, I would have favored the games going to Fukuoka instead. Everyone goes to Tokyo anyway, so why not show the world a different side of Japan? With all the recent weight placed on Regional Areas (chihou) recently, the Olympic Games being hosted in Fukuoka would have been a great way for the Chihou to show its stuff.

  • Wonder if the IOC also thought about the ever-present threat of The Big One (earthquake) that’s been forecast/overdue for Tokyo for years. The Olympic Village melting into Tokyo Bay sure would be a fun footnote in history.

    Still, who knows how it will end? Since the IOC is mainly a giant machine designed to reel in bribes for the IOC, I bet on Chicago (where political corruption is a way of life [tangent deleted])

    I suppose Tokyo is just as good at bid-rigging and such, but isn’t that only for the benefit of Japanese corporations, not gaijin?

  • Edward J. Cunningham says:

    Still, aside from the United States (Chicago), Japan is probably in the best position to afford the enormous expense hosting the summer Olympic Games of all the candidates. Still, I would not be surprised if Rio pulls an upset, since South America has never hosted the Games before.

  • Are people aware that one of Gov. Ishihara’s brilliant plans is to build a new stadium in Yoyogi Park, one of the last few green spots in the already seriously grey city landscape? I wonder what happens to the park if he gets his way…that to me isn’t long term planning at all.

  • Is that true that most of the Yokoso Japan budget was spent within Japan? If you were designing something to be purposely counter-productive, could you have done a better job?
    How did Mr James find out about Japan?

  • Andrew Smallacombe says:

    So, Ishihara has asked Ichiro to be one of the guest speakers for Tokyo’s cause… I’m betting he thinks Ichiro is world famous as opposed to famous in one country and well-known by baseball fans in another.
    I’d like to see Rio get the games simply because they have never been held in a South American nation before.
    Ishihara has also stated that 60% of taxis for a Tokyo Olympics would be electric-powered. Would he be quoting that figure without an Olympic bid?
    I agree that it sounds too much like one man’s vanity project.

  • While I am all for NOT having the Olympics in Tokyo in 2016,
    claming border fingerprinting as one of the reasons for disqualification
    is kind of flimsy considering that the US border fingerprints
    (thus eliminating Chicago) and Brazil border fingerprints US citizens
    (thus eliminating Rio De Janeiro.)

    — Read the qualifiers I offered. “…justified on bigoted grounds”. That makes things quite different.

  • Eric Johnston says:

    Low public support for a bid pushed by a few corporate elites and political leaders, no consultation with anybody outside the usual suspects, poor international public relations skills, and a lack of ability to get the message to those who don’t read Japanese. . .deja vu all over again is probably the most common reaction among those of us who followed Osaka’s failed bid for the 2008 Olympics.

    What’s surprising, though, is that, while expectations a town like Osaka, with poltiical and corporate leadership that is extremely provincial, could ever run a competitive Olympic bid were never high, Tokyo, as the nation’s capital, should have been much more attuned to the need to take some of Terri’s advice about consulting the outsid world –regardless of what one thinks of the Tokyo bid.

    I did notice a banner in Kyoto’s Teramachi arcade for the Tokyo bid. It might be targeting the hordes of Japanese and foreign tourists who always frequent that area in search of ”purchasing opportunities”, as they used to say in Shanghai. I heard from acquaintences that there other Olympic bid banners and posters in Kyoto as well. But it’s hardly a high profile bid in Kansai.

    Well, the suspense is over on Friday.


  • Personally, I would love to see Tokyo get the Olympics and think that many of the complaints made against Tokyo getting it could be leveled at the other bidding cities as well.

    The issue that annoys me more than anything is that whenever the discussion of the Tokyo Olympics comes up at least one person always makes claims about Yoyogi Park getting destroyed. Totally False. If you follow the link in Terries story and go to the information on the venue plan you can see for yourself http://www.tokyo2016.or.jp/en/plan/venue/ The main stadium is planned to be in the Kachidoki / Toyosu area.

    Debito, please include a correction on Mark’s comment above indicating it is wrong and attach the link above to the correct information.

  • Sorry Terrie…I like your website and your writings but Ishihara is reason enough not to bring the Olympics to Tokyo – Forget about fingerprinting, but how about encarceration of a 70+ year old man for 9 days for having a pocket knife, charging a man with legal custody of his kids with kidnapping, constant negligence of child custody laws, random urine checks, etc. etc.. etc. Tokyo is not ready.

    In the US President Obama, his wife and the whole delegation is going to Copenhagen to rally for Chicago…costing the US millions, while the US has many other and much more severe problems going on. Meanwhile an honor student is beaten to death on the streets of Chicago while other kids watch and film with their hand phones. Alot of people in Chicago has said they do not want the olympics….and most Americans know the US and even moreso, Chicago, cannot afford this now.

    GIVE IT TO RIO!!!! South America should have a shot and I think this would actually be something that would benefit Brazil and one of the world’s great cities (albeit they have their issues as well). Perhaps the Olympics in Rio might actually relieve some of the poverty plaguing the city and bring light to a country that has done some great and innovative things recently related to the use of energy and reducing dependency on external forces.

  • 1510 Voting starts (eliminated city in each round of voting, apart from the final round, will be announced during this period.)

    1630 Announcement ceremony at which IOC president Jacques Rogge names the winner

    times are GMT
    Japan being GMT+9
    voting starts at 00:10 late Friday night and the final decision is announced at 1:30AM Saturday morning.

    I’ll be sleeping, but given the elimination announcements during voting, I bet you won’t have to stay up that late to learn Tokyo’s fate.

    Sounds like a great excuse for Friday night drinking at a bar with a TV.

  • With the world coming to an end, Ishihara has decided on scare tactics to win the Olympic bid. After all only Japan is taking steps to avert global warming with its ECO friendly hybrids cars

    COPENHAGEN, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara warned on Wednesday the 2016 Olympics could be the last Games, with global warming an immediate threat to mankind.

    Tokyo is bidding to host the 2016 summer Olympics with Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid also in the running. The International Olympic Committee will elect the winning candidate during its session on Oct. 2 in the Danish capital.

    “It could be that the 2016 Games are the last Olympics in the history of mankind,” Ishihara told reporters at a Tokyo 2016 press event ahead of the vote.

    “Global warming is getting worse. We have to come up with measures without which Olympic Games could not last long.

    “Scientists have said we have passed the point of no return,” said Ishihara.

    Tokyo has put considerable emphasis on staging a green Games with the planned Olympic stadium the first to be fully powered by renewable energy, including solar power.

    “Tokyo is prepared to do everything to create the best conditions for the athletes,” he said.

    (Editing by Alison Wildey; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    Doug, initially I supported Rio as well, but then I discovered that the 2014 World Cup is already scheduled to be held there, so it’s not such a great loss if Rio doesn’t get the Olympics, particularly when you consider that soccer is much more beloved by Brazilians than the typical Olympic sport.

    I don’t think Chicago has ever hosted a world-level sporting competition — they were awarded the Olympic Games in 1904 but didn’t get to host them as St. Louis took things over. While I would have liked to see Rio get the Olympics with the World Cup going somewhere else, Chicago deserves to finally get a shot.

  • I saw this on Japan Today almost immediately. It encapsulated everything I want to say about this bid!

    “Greetings from Copenhagen! Good news: T O K Y O & Chicago have been ELIMINATED!


    Go Rio! Go!”

  • Oh thank god, Tokyo didn’t get the games! I suppose Ishihara will be going for the 2020 games now…. Anyway good luck Rio!

    — Meself, I’d like a different Japanese city to go for it. One less crowded and arrogant. They’ll still get national government funding.

  • D.B. Cooper says:

    Seems that most people here will be happy that Ishihara has been denied his place on the world stage but the fundamental problems caused by the Olympic Games won’t disappear because they’re being held somewhere else. I fear the financial burden and the brunt of the ‘security measures`etc will be born by the poor and dispossessed and all the gains will accrue to global gangsters like G.E. and our friend McDonalds{see London sponsors here
    http://www.london2012.com/about/the-people-delivering-the-games/international-and-uk-partners/index.php }
    I believe that the people of Rio de Janeiro will need all our solidarity to help them cope with the disaster that has befallen them. Say what you like about Tokyo cops, they’d have to go some to match this..
    ” Police violence, including extrajudicial executions, is a chronic problem. For example, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, police were responsible for approximately one out of every five intentional killings in the first six months of 2008, according to official statistics”.
    Full report here http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79209
    Remember this is now, so one can only imagine the situation when it comes time for evictions, favela clearing and the general ‘tidying up’ needed to be ready for rich sports fans.
    There will be enormous scope for human rights abuses of the most heinous kind in the coming years and for details of past atrocities you only have to look here http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk
    I for one will have as little to do as possible with these ugly displays of big nation chauvinism {except to oppose them} that are passed off as sports competitions but hope for the day when we can organise a flagless Olympic Games based on equality and mutual respect.

  • I will call to IOC and THANK THEM for their decision. I couldn`t sleep because of excitement. 2 big friends were eliminated first. Now they won`t get more fingerprints on their “dark” data, first of all Japan and Ishihara hater of foreigner. How many faxes with debito.org links went to IOC I cannot count :))) Who knows if they didn`t take this into account. Olympic 2020? Well, more faxes and letters will go. See the newest Debito article about child abductions. IOC received all about this and old man case with nife too and much, much more. Maybe they didn`t bother to read and check links but who knows. The best was on TV interview with japanese man and woman. They weren`t too excited, just saying Japanese like games (well, nintendo and PSP on the train) so we should get Olympic. We Japanese are good and safe. Yes, “WE” again. Hatoyama: Japanese people will be excited (maybe 40% of tarentos) and we will guaranty safe games. Right, racial profiling, fingerprinting at the bother and additional to this stop on every corner. At the end it will be Japanese who make problems. Couldn`t reach DPJ by fax, I think they gave wrong number on their homepage. Rio deserve it, as South Africa who got World Cup. It`s danger place but hope they can do something about it. I couldn`t be more excited seeing Japan eliminated. YOKOSO JAPAN is over, 10,000,000 visitors to 2010 is over (recently drop 8.4%). My wife told me in Yokohama they made some exhibition expecting 5,000,000 foreign visitors. Came 1,500,000.
    Xenophobia and Racism lost and will loose as long as leaders in this country won`t wake up. Eco???..hahahahaha, they thought they can play with it? great reason to get games, huh?. Japanese team couldn`t get to IOC members to talk, just stuck in lobby according to japanese news. Foreign media advised them different approach so Ishihara started with Eco again.
    Go Rio!!! Good Luck

  • Bravo Rio!!! A good choice that did not surprise me at all.

    Chicago first out – after our President makes a special trip to Copenhagen (2 Boeing 747s required + military support, limos, etc, etc) and his wife takes a separate (Boeing 757) with accompanying support as well….environmental/carbon footprint left and cost – enormous – all this after an honor student was beaten to death on the streets of Chi-town….Very good friend of Obama owns large portion of land that would have been redeveloped for Olymipics…Chicago (and Chi town politics) out first – Not a surprise! (PS I do not like Bush either)

    Message: The rest of the world is smart enough to see through the hypocracy of the US presentation – fix your own problems first, get some REAL change (not more of the same) then re-apply.

    Tokyo second out – fear of foreigners rioting in the streets, fear of hooligans during world cup, old man locked up for 9 days for a pocket knife in his possession? Tokyo out – Good

    Message: Japan please change the attitude toward foreigners and re-apply… you may also want to send Ishihara for a psycoligical exam after saying the 2016 Olympics might be the last….huh??

    Madrid – Spain is pretty much broke and the olympics would be another nail in the coffin – unemployment consistently above 15%

    Message: Probably Europe (or at least the UK) has 2012…lets give another region a shot

    Rio – Brazil…not perfect but a developing city in a developing country….moving in the right direction in many ways…

    Message: Rio you have your problems (we all do) but you are a great city and your country is moving in the right direction…the world sees that….Omedetou!

    Best of Luck and Congratulations to Rio and Brazil

  • Japan Times re why Tokyo lost Olympics:

    Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009
    Lack of vision, flair sank bid: experts

    However, local activist groups continued to criticize Ishihara’s bid and were relieved to hear the IOC’s ruling.

    “Gov. Ishihara used the Olympics as an excuse to develop the city, and his budgets for projects such as building roads kept getting bigger,” said Masazumi Atsumi, a representative of the civic group No Olympic Tokyo 2016.

    “Tokyo has far more urgent problems to deal with, including the Tsukiji problem, and the low public support showed that the citizens are aware of this,” he added, referring to the controversial relocation of the famous wholesale fish market to grounds discovered to be toxic.

    Ishihara, who is unofficially endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Partyand headed up the Olympics hosting committee, previously suggested he might quit the post if Tokyo failed to win.

    Many of Tokyo’s infrastructure projects, laid out in 2006 by the metro government, were planned with the 2016 Games in mind. Some observers speculated the loss may take the wind out of Tokyo and lead the hawkish governor to resign.

    But at a press conference in Copenhagen after the results were announced, Ishihara reportedly insisted he would not resign. City Hall declined to comment on the result.

  • Andrew Smallacombe says:

    If nothing else, we’ve been spared a media blitz. Had Tokyo won its bid, we’d be hearing nothing else for days.

  • There’s certainly a lot of joy in the foreign community here that Blinky’s pet project got shut down.

    Debito, how about a Japan Times article outlining just what Ishihara is, a corrupt, highly arrogant racist?

    — Thought about it. I was going to do something along those lines for my JT column this weekend, but the Savoie Case intervened. Not sure it’ll have the same peg next month, but we’ll see. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Re: Comment No. 6

    「石原都知事「オバマさん出席は織り込み済み」 五輪招致」

    「– Fine invective in the headline: “Rachi”. Sounds like the USA is the DPRK.」

    I think that’s ‘shouchi’ (bid; invitation), rather than ‘rachi’ (拉致). I keep confusing the two myself…

    — No, I think it’s time for me to get some new glasses (rougan is proceeding apace, have to take glasses off to read sometimes). Thanks for the correction. Silly me. Sorry.

  • On a related note, some speculation on why Chicago was eliminated in the first round as a candidate city for the Olympics (thanks to Matt):


    Citing the NYT’s travel blog:

    NYT’s In Transit blog: Chicago’s Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?:

    “Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago’s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be “a rather harrowing experience.”

    Now, Tokyo’s doing the same thing (only using more bigoted justifications, such as the need to curtail crime, infectious diseases, and terrorism — as if foreigners are more likely to be infectious etc.) Perhaps that’s one reason why they lost in the second round? Probably not, but the fingerprinting regimes (Brazil only fingerprints Americans, and that’s in response to the Americans fingerprinting all foreign entrants) do not help make life easier for tourists.

  • A little late to the party, but I am glad to see that people are still posting here about Tokyo’s loss for the Olympic bid. I think it’s very important that we all continue to monitor Ishihara’s statement’s regarding the loss. I saw (or heard) somewhere that Ishihara is now blaming backdoor politics for Rio’s win; that the Brazilian delegation didn’t play fair and made appeals after the time for such activities had supposedly ended. If someone can find articles or links about that, I would appreciate them being posted here.

    I find it ironic that Ishihara would complain about such things. Afterall, I am pretty sure that’s his way of doing politics here in Japan; and I am definitely sure that is what he did to win government support for the 2016 bid over Fukuoka (sorry, no evidence, just theories). If that is the way Tokyo loss the bid, then it’s only fitting.

    Let’s keep compiling material on Ishihara and his cronies and continue sending them to the IOC. 2020 is a long way off, but it’s plenty of time to let the IOC know what is going on here that they’re not being told. I actually agree with DB Cooper above, a flagless Olympics would probably be the best, hosted in the same place all the time (Greece anyone?), but until then, we can make sure that as long as Ishihara draws breath, the games will not be coming to Tokyo.

    — More than anything, I think Ishihara’s just pissed off that 1) he didn’t get what he wanted, and 2) he faced people he couldn’t bully, so he’s gonna bad-mouth them as unfair afterwards. I’m surprised he hasn’t pulled the race card, as in “The White Man’s Club Shut Out The Asians”, but that’s one lucky thing about Chicago losing first. But they (meaning Vice-Gov Inose Naoki on Sunday 6PM’s TV Bankisha) did pull the “European Club Card” (but if that were true, Madrid would have gotten it.). Anyway, Ishihara is a sore loser, and the media is all to quick to say, “We didn’t get The Gold. What did we do wrong?”

    Only one TV program pointed out the obvious: Not everyone can win. In that, the country which has lost the most Olympic bids has been the US (IIRC 57 times or something). But the US has also WON the most Olympic bids. Moral: Don’t get sore. Try again. That’s how these things work. For grown-ups who don’t take a loss as a personal affront, that is.

  • Debito,
    Just saw on TBS’ “Akko Omakase” that Hiroshima and Nagasaki want to jointly go for the 2020 Olympic bid under the theme of “Peace” among all people.” Now that, I think, everyone can get behind and is a very strong contender in terms of being attractive to the IOC–not some message about how Tokyo will be the “world leading environmental friendly metropolis that all other cities will be modeled upon.”

    Let’s definitely keep our eyes on this one.

  • Japan Times,Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009

    Ishihara endorses A-bomb cities for Olympics
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be good candidates to cohost the 2020 Summer Olympics, outspoken Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Wednesday.

    “For world peace, to have the Olympics in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only cities in the world subjected to nuclear bomb attacks, means a lot,” Ishihara told reporters.

    “I’m ready to give them as much advice as I can. I know it’s difficult to attract the Olympics unless the entire nation works together.”

    The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki expressed their desire Sunday to host the 2020 Olympics, just a week after Tokyo failed in its bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro.

    Asked if Tokyo will bid for the 2020 Olympics as well, Ishihara said, “That’s what the next governor decides.”

    Ishihara is serving his third term. It expires in April 2011.

    On the International Olympic Committee’s negative stance toward the two Japanese cities’ proposal to cohost the Olympics, he said, “Whether there is precedent or not, the IOC just needs to be practical.”

    Ishihara’s comment came as the Japanese Olympic Committee held a meeting at a Tokyo hotel to review the capital’s defeat in its hosting bid.

    Ishihara and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who chairs the Japan Sports Association, were invited to the review session, which was closed to the media.

    At a news conference following the meeting, JOC Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda expressed his regret over Tokyo’s failure.

    “I wanted to make this session a celebration for Tokyo’s victory,” he said, adding the JOC will work to make this experience a good lesson for the next step.

    But according to some of the 120 participants at the meeting, JOC executives didn’t allow any questions from the floor, and its review of Tokyo’s defeat was just ceremonial.

    Kyohei Akagi, an honorary member of the JOC, told reporters after the meeting: “The session did neither good nor harm. What the JOC needs is organizational reform if Japan aims to play host again.”

    Another participant also said the review session lacked teeth. JOC executives “only emphasized how great Tokyo’s hosting plan was,” he said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>