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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > 80% oppose Tokyo’s bid for 2020 Olympics
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [TOKYO]

80% oppose Tokyo’s bid for 2020 Olympics

September 15 & 28, 2011
About 80% of Tokyoites oppose Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games for which Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro is aspiring, according to an official document disclosed in response to the request made by the Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members’ group.

In the opinion poll the Tokyo metropolitan government conducted in June, July, and August, 82% answered that they are in “opposition” to and 9% in “support” of Tokyo’s participation in the bid. Out of “opposition” respondents, 36% said that “disaster reconstruction in the northeastern region and Tokyo’s countermeasures against disaster should be given priority,” 25% said that Tokyo’s bid is a “wasteful use of tax revenues,” and 12% said that “radiation contamination is too serious to host the Games.”

The “opposition” responses include: as an apology for the Tokyo governor saying, ‘the tsunami was divine punishment,’ Tokyo should use money to support disaster victims; the governor can declare Tokyo’s bid only after he uses his pocket money to pay back the debt he made in the last bid; if Tokyo has such money, it should give a Geiger counter to families with children; Tokyo’s finances are not something that the governor can use as he pleases; and a referendum should be held on Tokyo’s entry into the bid.

Governor Ishihara in 2009 failed in winning the race for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games despite having poured 15 billion yen into the bid. Nevertheless, he proclaimed to again bid for the 2020 Games during a metropolitan assembly plenary session in June.

In a discussion meeting with about 400 Tokyoites held on September 13, Governor Ishihara referred to those who had opposed Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Olympics as “idiots”. In the same meeting, in the presence of some athletes and high school students, he used offensive language to explain the handshake he had given to an IOC member. He said, “It is like a go-between in the street giving an eye signal to a prostitute to ‘go and pick up that man’.”

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