Tokyo homeless kicked out for the privileged Olympics: Taking the knee and ignoring the locals and region

Tokyo homeless kicked out for the privileged Olympics: Taking the knee and ignoring the locals and region

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The Tokyo Olympics is to commence in front of privileged spectators. Hence, ordinary people in Japan and foreign spectators are banned from attending Olympic venues.

However, for the homeless in Tokyo, it is even worse. This concerns the homeless being told to leave prime areas in central Tokyo. Therefore, homeless people will become more marginalized to provide a facade for the political elites.

The Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike fully understands the reality of homeless people near the main Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) building in Shinjuku. Hence, just like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, they understand that their grand words sound empty if the homeless angle is too visible.

Lee Jay Walker says, “Ironically, some athletes will take the knee for politically correct symbolism. They will do this despite Northeast Asia having serious issues concerning North Korea, Tibet (China), and Xinjiang (China). Also, other parts of Asia, including Indonesia (West Papua) and Bangladesh (Chittagong Hill Tracts), have real issues concerning the persecution of the indigenous. However, to privileged athletes – just like the IOC, Suga, Koike, and companies who hold media rights – they will neither care about the homeless angle or the environment of Northeast Asia that makes the issue they are focused on seem like a picnic – this concerns ethnic cleansing and forced labor.”

Thus privileged athletes are plying their trade in front of privileged elites who can attend venues at the expense of ordinary people in Japan, while the homeless (no knee for them) are forced out. Equally, the privileged – be they athletes or elites who can go to Olympic venues – don’t concern themselves with the fact that the majority of people in Japan don’t want the games because of the prevailing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The Asahi Shimbun reports that homeless people have been told to leave central areas of Tokyo, including the TMG building area of Shinjuku. This news agency reports, “Metropolitan government officials have entered the final phase of clearing the area of homeless people before the Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 23.”

The Shinjuku homeless problem is well known in Tokyo. Ueno to the Sumida River area also has many homeless people who are barely surviving in the capital city. Of course, homeless issues blight America, France, the United Kingdom, and other G-7 nations to an even higher degree. Therefore, it is galling that the homeless in Tokyo are being cleared from central areas for privileged elites- be they athletes or so-called VIPs.

In truth, the IOC, Suga, and Koike have ignored the wishes of the majority of people in Japan, who wanted the games postponed or canceled. Likewise, athletes taking the knee are ignoring more serious issues in Northeast Asia (Tibet, Xinjiang, and reports of food shortages in North Korea). Yet when it comes to the homeless, then they are marginalized whatever.

Hence, empty words of brotherhood, sisterhood, and humanity are all glossing the reality on the ground because the Olympics this time are solely for the privileged – irrespective of taking the knee or no knee!


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