national

Japan anticipates economic boost, but Fukushima shadow lingers

45 Comments
By Elaine Lies

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
Login to comment

if you believe any of this, then you're the most gullible person on earth.

What? A 3-week half-taxpayer funded event in 2020 is going to lift us economically from now on? After a hike in a consumption tax that will make everything more expensive from now on? That all the attention and money flowing into Tokyo will actually rebuild the neglected rural north? That real sustained jobs will be created for a one-off sporting event? Get real.

20 ( +26 / -5 )

"that the plant is “under control”" Sure the plant is under Tepco's control, the problem is that Tepco is under nobody's control!!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I'm sure there will be some economic gains, but it will only be for Tokyo, not the rest of Japan. So while about a third of the population will be enjoying some economic gain, more and more young people will be streaming to Tokyo for jobs, further depleting the areas of people and taxable incomes. The extra 5% tax increase the supermarket cashier has to burden in Akita, how are the Tokyo Olympics going to affect her in any way? The gov't keeps bemoaning the fact that the rural areas are becoming ghost towns, but then they do everything they can to make sure that Tokyo receives the lion share of everything.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Prime Minister Abe said that leaks of radioactive water from tanks and melted fuels are completely under control and also radioactive water goes into the bay area but will not leak into the sea water, But this is completely a big lie. Radioactive water 300 ton (per day) is leaking into the sea water every day. What a lie!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Well, for those who have some doubts about Abe's assurances that there have never been and never will be health problems related to Fukushima, he has made this additional promise in an article in the Wall Street Journal:

"Let me assure you the situation is under control," Mr. Abe said. "It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324123004579061322925166860.html?mod=WSJAsia_hpp_LEFTTopStories#slide/1

So, there, all is well. We can go about our business.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well said MarkX. Historically, the Olympics has never had any long term economic benefit for the host countries. Since Tokyo has much of the infrastructure already in place, there is a glimmer of hope that she might break even or perhaps even make a profit, but I wouldn't bet on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_the_Olympic_Games

So, if there is no real economic benefit, and no guarantee that Tokyo will even break-even, then what is the point of this whole thing when there are still tens of thousands of displaced citizens from Northern Japan, and very little reconstruction work (despite huge amounts of charitable donations) going on?

Surely if Japan wanted to boost the economy with construction projects, they don't need to do so by building new stadiums around Tokyo - they have more than enough opportunities in Tohoku - opportunities that they choose to ignore and neglect.

It is disgusting that not only the politicians, but citizens of this country actually support these Olympics. "The economic benefits will help Tohoku" they say... First, any respectable economist will tell you the economic benefits are minimal. Second, the Olympics are in Tokyo. How on earth do the economic benefits trickle down to Tohoku? Third, the gamers are in 2020... What are the people of Tohoku supposed to do until then? Just put everything on hold like they already have done for the past 2 years?

5 ( +9 / -3 )

There is a Japanese proverb that's appropriate for Prime Minister Abe and TEPCO, " the end justifies the means".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“under control”

“I would like to state clearly that there has not been, is not now and will not be any health problems whatsoever,” Abe told a news conference.

I hope he's correct, but I have serious doubts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

then what is the point of this whole thing

It will bolster the power and prestige of Abe-san, Inose-san and the other vested interests. Also, the population will be distracted from the real pressing problems their country faces.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

That's great that Tokyo got the Olympics and all, but honestly: I hope there is a back-up plan for if/when stuff goes downhill in Fukushima.

Maybe Japan should care about its people and its safety before it worries about where to build billion-dollar infrastructures and showing up how great their country is when they're living their own citizens in the dust, or in this case "temporary" housing shelters that aren't turning out to be so "temporary".

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan just can't afford the games, the worlds biggest debt, Fukushima, rapidly shrinking population, Tepco

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Debbie Downer here, I was just wondering if after you approved 500 billion yen for Fukushima, and spending billions to upgrade the shinkansen originally planned for 2027 but now may be rushed for 2020, and the billions for the promised futuristic facilities for the Olympics, and already approving a budget that'll raise your astronomic debt, well, will you still actually be able to pay that 500 billion for Fukushima? And those people without homes from the tsunami, can they stay in the beautiful towers being built for Olympic athletes after they leave?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Furthermore, the government has already decided a program to make sure there is absolutely no problem, and we have already started.”*

What programme? And when did it start?

Or does he mean the gradual leakage (!) of bad news?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TEPCO has not been clear about a number of things, and maybe now there will be enough foreign pressure to get this thoroughly taken care of

Do these people not realize how pathetic it sounds that it requires an international sporting event for TEPCO to be held more responsible then say, oh I don't know...the horrible problem that they have on their hands right now. With this way of thought, what would happen if Tokyo hadn't won the Olympic bid? Business as normal, aka nothing?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thankfully for Inose/Abe that pesky Fukushima business didn't destroy Tokyo's hopes. I can see a few weeks of backslapping and then back to normal which means doing sod all for those affected by that terrible disaster and TEPCO's incompetence. I've found the last few days a little obscene.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Remember this. The Tokyo governor lied about Fukushima to get this. That will only encourage more lies about the true nature about the nuclear disaster that is only a few hundred kilometers away from Tokyo. In 2020 the mess will still be there.

That aside, Olympics tend to be money drainers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Under control? No health risk? Flashbacks to Minamata anyone? - The situation in Fukushima is far from being under control! And, the health risks are yet to be proven cos the worst is yet to come. They still have to get the fuel rods out. They also are quickly running out of storage for the contaminated water. Abe sings the Olympics tune while Fukushima burns!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm sorry but the last thing that Japan needs is another construction boom. One last fling for Japan before it sinks into irrelevancy and mediocrity unless they can find a way of doing something different. Building things and pouring concrete just to keep people in employment is what is strangling this country and they want to host the Olympics so that they can build more, bad decision. When Japan start building they can't stop and that is what will happen in Tokyo. Spain is the same, addicted to construction but there it was in the private sector, so when the money ran out they had to stop, that is why Spain wanted the Olympics to have a building boom again. Japan is doing it on government money and doesn't run out until the country is bankrupt. I'm sorry to say but I think hosting the Olympics might be the final nail in the coffin for the Japanese economy. Stupid idea based on pride and vanity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Realtors, anticipating development of Tokyo’s downtown waterfront area - where the Olympic Village will be located - are especially hopeful.

I remember back when they had the World Cup in Yokohama back in 2002 or so. One of the "eye sores" that they wanted to get rid of was the Hinedocho area and the police really cracked down there and in other "seedy" places where they thought the tourist would venture. They did do it, but Hinedoccho never boomed into anything "fabulous." Along with other areas of the same type that were cleaned up nothing materialized.

I don't think the areas in Tokyo are some of the same types that the police cleaned up, but if they expect a giant real estate boom in Tokyo from this they are going to be mistaken. New construciton will only be brief and the selling frenzy for the venue areas will be quick, but once things settle down, it will falter off. I am sure that there will be a few major hotels built in the area, but I am curious to see how they will be doing in 2021.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Alphaape: "but I am curious to see how they will be doing in 2021."

Well, it's Tokyo, so they'll still probably do pretty well. It's the venues that I worry about. The government says that they will still use the stadiums and what not after the Games are done, but every country says the same thing, and every country eventually has to reduce maintenance costs. Look at the 'birds nest' in China -- they have been talking about taking it down for a couple of years now because it is too expensive to use.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It makes for good political commentary for Abe to announce this.Yet, his assurances are not rooted in fact as we all know.In actuality, Abe himself is privy to the data that shows how much fallout has hit Kanto but he will never allow this to become public knowledge.Not will he ever allow the real situation at Fukushima to panic the millions in Tokyo that are just 200 kilometers away. However,he does know that there is a lot to be done and he has it on his conscience if the situation at the site becomes worse.

I do not envy him........

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can hear the money printing pressing starting now... Japan will print money to pay for the games

4 ( +5 / -1 )

More stupidness. The last thing japan needs right now is to step under the Global Microscope. Greed can be an ugly thing. This will definitely back fire.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So many negative people here, it's burdensome. There is not a single bad thing about this win. It's also great that there will definitely be an increased world's attention to the Fukushima problem, hopefully it will accelerate it's complete solution.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I'm wondering about how they will cope with so many visitors from abroad. I remember we were promised at the 2002 World Cup that staff would be able to speak English. I remember asking one staff in his early-20s if I needed to line up when I already had a ticket. This is what happened:

"I already have a ticket. Do I have to line up?" "Eh?" "Do I have to line up? I have a ticket. Look!" "Eh?"

At that point I gave up. Better luck next time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Too bad we can't go back to the days when the Olympics was about sport, and not money. There were no "professional" athletes, and no company logos to be seen on stadiums, signs, or the athletes uniforms. The events and sports were paid for by the variuous olympic committees in their respective countries, which received tax-deductable donations from companies and individuals.

I was present at the 1984 Olympics, and it was a great event. No spectacularly expensive stadium, performances, or nonsense, it was a noble event. Nearly all events were held in existing facilities, the main stadium in LA having been built for the previous games several decades earlier. The competitors were mostly young students, a few of whom I knew personally, and there were even a few military members participating (in the early Olympics, many, if not most competitors were soldiers, the original events being military in nature).

Even TV coverage was different, and better. 1984 was the last year which ABC broadcast the games. The following games were broadcast by NBC. They paid the IOC a fortune for the broadcast rights, and of course, NBC tried to squeeze money out of every moment. I got fed up with watching 3 minutes of advertising for every 2 minutes of sports, and I have not watched the games on NBC since.

The Tokyo games will be a boon for corruption and fluff, and will pay for the retirements of a great many politicians. The national debt will become another 10% heavier, and after the 3 week's porkfest has ended, the 150,000 part-timers will return to being unemployed, and Japan's economic ship will continue it's slow slide into the depths.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I was present at the 1984 Olympics, and it was a great event. No spectacularly expensive stadium, performances, or nonsense, it was a noble event.

And the soviets boycotted it because america boycotted the one before in Moscow, hardly noble. I remember the days when the Olympics were just a nationalistic competition between the cold war super powers, using sport as a way to prove to the world which one was the great civilization. Now the nationalistic idiot fest has shifted to China.

The Olympics is just a bunch of stupid sports that no one is interested in for about four years and then suddenly we have to get enthusiastic about them. There is a reason why rowing, horse jumping, archery, shooting, cycling etc. aren't on TV between the Olympics and it is that they are boring. Let's watch the Chinese and Americans run around in a circle for 20 mins to prove to the world who is the most powerful and greatest country. Yes the pure and noble Olympics, the Olympic spirit, it stands for so much more than sport, it is everything that great and noble in human beings. Sanctimonious nonsense.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

These governments always say there will be an economic boost, and even knowing the previous poor results from economic cost/benefit studies of previous Olympics, they promise things will be different, though in the end they are not and tax payers have to bear the burden of irrational hopes and devious sales pitches.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/07/the-curse-of-the-olympics.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's also great that there will definitely be an increased world's attention to the Fukushima problem, hopefully it will accelerate it's complete solution.

If it takes brining an event like the Olympics to Japan to make Japan step up efforts to clean up their mess, then I don't think that it will be a really good solution. Just enough to squeak by and shift the focus to elsewhere. I think that the J-gov and to some extent the people of Japan are not aware that the rest of the world doesn't just follow blindly behind what the leaders tell them they should do. Yes some do, but by and large you are at least bound to get more tough questions to leaders as to what is really going on, and I don't think some of the people in Japan realize that.

But if they can pull it off, more power to them.

I find it amazing though that in various posts on JT, how many say that they are proud of Japan, and how this event will show the world the great pride and progress that Japan has made since 2011. That's fine, but when people from other nations make the same analogies about the greatness of their countries, we get nothing but anti-nationalist comments from some. Interesting now that Japan is doing this, now it is a good thing.

Glad to see Japanese having pride in their country, and I hope it stays.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've noticed that no tv stations have gone up to Fukushima to gauge their pulse.I wonder why? It's all about accentuating the positive and the Fukushima situation is not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is important is what is being done and happens between now and 2020. Let's hope that the IOC decision is the right one considering the numerous potential physical risks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is important is what is being done and happens between now and 2020. Let's hope that the IOC decision is the right one considering the numerous potential physical risks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan Today is nothing but a laughing stock for serious discussions. Nothing new it being Japanese character.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've noticed that no tv stations have gone up to Fukushima to gauge their pulse.I wonder why? It's all about accentuating the positive and the Fukushima situation is not.

I just saw some 10 minutes ago. I've seen interviews/comments a dozen times since yesterday morning, including when the result came out. Maybe you should watch a bit more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

... with the creation of 150,000 jobs.

Well that's wishful thinking. I wonder there is no quotation who were the quack-scientists who made such an absurd estimation. Big sports events will have not such an effect at all, they only create a few handful of jobs for a few weeks. A decade ago I had the pleasure (or duty) to read and summarize plenty of international city planning studies, regarding the measured economic impact of great sports cups, olympic games and so on. The conclusion: olympic games (or big sports events) have little or no economic impact at all, neither for the cities, nor for the national economy. Few people will know about this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe you should watch a bit more.

Or most probably where you and I are in different prefectures.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Or most probably where you and I are in different prefectures.

Probably. Care to revise your comment? I wonder why?

There is the internet though which is borderless if you will. Plenty of Japanese content covering what you claim is not being covered.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan host the Olympics???? I have only one word for it.....disgusting!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@ Cracaphat - interesting point. Personally, I've spoken to around two-dozen people in Fukushima the past few days, and emotions/opinion seems very qualified. Certainly no-one I've chatted to has been overly negative toward Tokyo winning - but almost to a person they have expressed a strong wish the pressing problems here are addressed well before the 2020. Sadly, no-one seems very confident of that happening. Interestingly, several told me before the decision that they hoped Madrid would snare the games.

Abe's claim that the Fukushima situation is "under control" is quite frankly an insult to the evacuees I know - including my family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The OIC should have raised ONE condition as prerequisite for the OG attribution to Tokyo: the full and total elimination of the kisha clubs!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ BD.You being able to chat personally has more impact,which unfortunately I have never done.But my overall feeling is that the euphoria of getting the Games has taken away from the more pressing issues,primarily being Fukushima. Japanese by nature are reserved and hesitant to criticize publicly and doing so now would kill the mood. But I hope to go that way one day soon because as one of my students who regularly goes up there doing volunteer work says, that Fukushimans just want people to visit. And doing that beats any lip service.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@

3 Good Bad

hatsoffSep. 09, 2013 - 01:43PM JST

I'm wondering about how they will cope with so many visitors from abroad. I remember we were promised at the 2002 World Cup that staff would be able to speak English. I remember asking one staff in his early-20s if I needed to line up when I already had a ticket. This is what happened:

"I already have a ticket. Do I have to line up?" "Eh?" "Do I have to line up? I have a ticket. Look!" "Eh?"

At that point I gave up. Better luck next time .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Next time you go to an event with your ticket, follow behind of line of all other people with ticket, just like all other ticket holders. You did nok know the custom so the person thought you are strange or baka?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This makes me believe that Abe only wants the increase in sales tax to build the Olympic stadiums and villages, and not to pay down national debt at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I would like to state clearly that there has not been, is not now and will not be any health problems whatsoever,” Abe told a news conference. “Furthermore, the government has already decided a program to make sure there is absolutely no problem, and we have already started.”

The disaster certainly is not 'under control', and Tokyo is absolutely not safe from health problems. Give it a few more years.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gDdJ0UQlBmI&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgDdJ0UQlBmI

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vurvqo5IWw&feature=youtu.be&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D1Vurvqo5IWw%26feature%3Dyoutu.be

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites