Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
Regarding the Friday, January 9, 2015 Japan Times story “Disjunct sites now reality for Tokyo Games,” all I can think to say right now is something along the lines of “Ha! Told you so!” We knew from the very start that the compact, environmental, low-impact, cost effective games sold to the International Olympic Committee in Rio De Janeiro in September 2013 was nothing more than just a flight of wishful fantasy and a cheeky fraud. It was a bold faced lie through and through. Aren’t these things always? The prime minister lied in front of the world about the cost and infrastructure, the distribution of venues and the public support, and above all about nuclear safety. Then the Governor of Tokyo shamelessly lied about the nature of Tokyo summer time weather. Then the stadium sold to the IOC was questioned - too late - and subjected to calls for re-design with complaints that it is too large for the site, that it lacks aesthetics, it’s incongruous with the neighborhood, it doesn’t reflect Japanese values, even that it’s unsafe.
For me the stadium is neither here nor there. I promise that I will never, ever see it. The old National Stadium, built for the 1964 Summer Olympics is currently awaiting the start of demolition, but I never laid eyes on it, either. I’m sure I will see photographs of the stadium in the media, but that is all. Even though I will still be living here at the time I will not attend the 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony, nor the Closing Ceremony, nor any of the athletic events in between. I will not watch any of it on television. I will not buy any Olympic merchandise - not caps or scarves, cup holders, bracelets or rings, posters, lunch boxes, notebooks, pens or mouse pads, tooth brushes, bath towels, toilet seat covers, T-shirts or calendars. Even if a share of the merchandise income is guaranteed to be given to a worthy charity I will not buy any Olympic baubles.
I regret that I cannot stop it and I have no voice in the matter, that my tax yen, my time and my patience will be squandered on this useless, pompous folly. Interestingly, minor useless, pompous follies are quick to draw public ire. But grand schemes like the Olympics are quick to draw praise. People like big schemes as diversions from little schemes.