Tokyo Olympic Committee plugs the Olympics on March 11: Earthquake and tsunami

Tokyo Olympic Committee shamelessly plugs the Olympics on March 11: Earthquake and tsunami

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The tenth anniversary of the brutal Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, took place today. However, the President of the Tokyo Organizing Committee, Seiko Hashimoto, shamelessly sought to exploit this tragic day to plug an unpopular Olympics and Paralympics.

Actually, the first Tokyo Olympics bid began in 2007 but Japan failed in its bid to hold the 2016 Olympics. Thus, Tokyo’s bid for the next Olympics in 2020 was based on its recent failure in 2009. Therefore, the success of the second Olympic bid was a continuation from 2007 and this was well before the tragic events of March 11, 2011.

More important, both bids were Tokyo-centric. Hence, most of the money deals apply to the environs of Tokyo and not the ill-fated Tohoku region. In other words, both Olympic bids were primarily capitalist like all bids. Thus, if the Tohoku region was the real focus, the Olympics would have been held in this part of Japan and not mega-rich Tokyo.

After all, what did the London Olympics do for poorer regions in northern England? Therefore, no point for Hashimoto to utilize such a tragic day in Japan.

Approximately 18,400 people died because of the brutal 9.0-magnitude earthquake that triggered the deadly tsunami. In turn, a radiation crisis emerged in Fukushima because of the convulsions of the tsunami. Therefore, Hashimoto should have been more sincere rather than plugging an unpopular Olympics and Paralympics scheduled for later this year.

Reuters reports, “Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto highlighted the power of sport on Thursday as she expressed condolences on the anniversary of a deadly earthquake and tsunami, saying it provided hope for survivors and in facing the coronavirus.”

Hashimoto said, “While COVID-19 has led to the first-ever and unprecedented postponement of the Games, the role of sports within society has become ever more relevant.”

Sport is no more relevant than before because the majority of people seek to survive the economic and social convulsions of the coronavirus crisis. Not to mention the fear of death by coronavirus or hospitalization and various side effects.

Hashimoto continued, “While doing so, we would like to do our best to bring together those whose lives have been affected by the global crisis through hosting a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games.”

This is fine and well. However, why release such sentiments while fusing aspects of the brutal Great East Japan Earthquake and the events of coronavirus – with plugging the unpopular Olympics and Paralympics this year?

It appears that Hashimoto shamelessly utilized the Great East Japan Earthquake to create fake narratives. After all, the environs of Tokyo were meant to gain during the first Olympic bid that failed – then, like Hashimoto, other politicians sought to utilize the utter devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that killed so many people during the second Olympic bid.

Both bids – before and after – were always Tokyo-centric and based on capitalism.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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