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Koike says 2020 Olympics can be springboard to transform Tokyo

By Jack Tarrant

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"But the metric for success will not be limited to just the competition itself; we want to lead Japan beyond 2020, change the way Tokyo thinks and transform our society."

Well, it's certainly admirable but why does change have to wait until all the world is watching?

I'm not a begrudger and it would be very nice to see change in a positive way for working class people and others not so well off in Tokyo society. But I'm reminded of 2012, where long term residents had to leave their homes in East London because unscupulous landlords upped the rents in the run up to the Games.

I genuinely hope this will be different and not just rampant capitalism stamping on the ordinary, decent folk of Tokyo.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Well, it's certainly admirable but why does change have to wait until all the world is watching?

In Japan, social pressure carries a lot of weight. This is a good time address issues that Japanese people often ignore because they are always concerned about the usually superficial omotenashi!

If I was serious activist then I would be making some serious plans because the world will be watching.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

you know what will transform tokyo faster and better? Koike leaving and never coming back....

How about finishing yamate dori for once? or any other of those failing mega projects...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Because I don't live in Tokyo, I have to ask, what happens to the other areas? Are there no interest in transforming the other areas that are already far behind Tokyo?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is really overestimating the impact the Olympics is going to have.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The 2020 Olympics can "usher in a new Tokyo"

Or the 2020 Os will be Tokyo's and Japan's swan song.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Maybe, but you need to get rid of all the old dinosaurs that are running the place first.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Transformation of Tokyo? As above have said, get rid of the old guard. Allow commonsense to have a monicommon of say. Never happen as common sense didn't/ doesn't have family connections to power.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Transform Tokyo? Ho boy!The visitors and athletes are in for a shock when they see how "international" Japan is, including Tokyo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It could also springboard Tokyo to destitution with higher unemployment after all the workers employed to build the venues and work at the games are let go.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What is she exactly talking about? What are we spring toward and what are we leaping away from?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As long as SMOKING INDOORS IS BANNED FOREVER I am happy with the Olympics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mrs Koike, Nothing can transform Japan. The Japanese have to transform Japan into a country that is honest ,kind and peaceful with sincerity Not an event. After a event, what comes next ???.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Older hands will remember the "transformation" that accompanied the 2002 World Cup.

And Nagano - absolutely transformed by the 1998 Winter Olympics. Unrecognizable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Koike is the most incompetent mayor ever elected in Tokyo for the past 20 years.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A LOT of hot air in this blurb & next to zero substance......Like I have been saying for years, APPEARANCES are more important than REALITY when it comes to Japan sadly

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More barriers would be a good start. A few stations like Shimokita and Nakameguro are on the brink of a major horrible accident, where overpopulation and lack of limiters on the floor are going to cause people to spill over. Ive had a few close calls.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People, especially the old guard, expects the olympics to have the same effects as the one in 1964. Japan was already in the midst of the post war economic and population boom (with or without the olympics). As many previous posters said, so what’s left over after the 2020 olympics other than cleanup and empty venues?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The 1964 Olympics served that purpose.

The 2020 Olympics will do little to grow or transform Tokyo infrastructure wise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They could start by building an Olympic Park (perhaps on the site of the old Fish Market). Why is it that every city that hosts an Olympics builds a park as part of the legacy, but not Tokyo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Balderdash. The 2020 Olympics are nothing more than a profit-generating vehicle for big corporations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Recommended she, or anyone else, read The Impact of Stadium and Professional Sports on Metropolitan Areas by RA Baade, a Professor of Economics at a Sports University in the USA, who totally shatters the myth of the benefits these projects bring, and outlines the negative impact on the local area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Toasted HereticFeb. 18  04:23 pm JST

"But the metric for success will not be limited to just the competition itself; we want to lead Japan beyond 2020, change the way Tokyo thinks and transform our society."

Well, it's certainly admirable but why does change have to wait until all the world is watching?

Because the Japanese never jump, they're always pushed.

Historically, the first significant change for Japan came with arrival of "the Black Ships." The next major change came with defeat in WWII. I had hoped that the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami would spark the next leap forward. But this was not the case as it didn't happen in or to Tokyo. If it doesn't happen in Tokyo, it doesn't matter.

I don't expect any meaningful changes in the structure of Japanese society just because Tokyo hosts a few weeks of international sporting events. Japan will not change for the better until it ceases to be a gerontocracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just returned from my 5th or 6th trip to Japan. I love Japan just the way it is. Of course this is the perspective of a visitor. My concern is Tokyo will be overrun by hordes of tourist. When I'm strolling around Japan and I see a bunch of tourist, I try to stay as far as possible from them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tokyo to generate change afterwards? With GOJ and the metropolis corporate elite taking their cuts once the flame torch is extinguished and done with...I regret to say this but it's highly unlikely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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