Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers find high bacteria levels at open-water swim venue

By Chris Gallagher

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

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

tests showed levels of E. Coli up to 20 times above the accepted limit and fecal coliform bacteria seven times higher than agreed

You don't need no stinking (pun intended) test to know that, The whole place smells of sewage.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Of course. Every time I've been there it 's always looked pretty nasty. But how can it be otherwise?

That whole part of Tokyo Bay was a filthy waste dump up until the 90s when they converted and expanded this island into a tourist spot.

Most of the bay is not fit for swimming.

They decided to have these events here a few years ago. Why weren't these tests done earlier?

23 ( +23 / -0 )

It's funny, there are signs posted there that swimming is not allowed, but they want to use it as an Olympic venue

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Even more funny that they are discussing how much poop it's okay to swim around in

25 ( +25 / -0 )

Well, its time to increase the accepted limits on both E. Coli and fecal matter. Just taking a page out of the government's playbook when radiation was a problem.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

@Sensei258... comment of the day! (second one)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

they are seriously considering having the swim there? that water is suicidal

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Ah beautiful Japan you have done it again, talk talk talk, Olympics,no hotel space, no clean water no clean air no idea. I'd like to thank the geriatric politics for their outstanding service and wish them the best as they clutch their chests and hopefully drop to the floor.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

How quickly we forget the pollution, etc problems that Rio faced.

6 ( +9 / -3 )


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is so stupid, you haven't been able to swim there for 10 years, there are signs everywhere saying don't swim. Who decided that suddenly you could swim there?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

i want the organizers and the committee to take a swim there first, take Koike with you please...

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Yeah, open water swimming in Tokyo Bay is just yuck. I'm sorry, this just wasn't thought out. Better move the events to Hakone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They'll have to move the event. Rio was 10 times above the safe limit and that was open sewage. 20 times in Tokyo? IOC should be livid

8 ( +8 / -0 )

How they resolve this. Deceit level/Olympic

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, if Tokyo Bay is full of fecal matter why don't they just hold it in the sea off Fukushima? I mean, TEPCO, the Japanese government and the mainstream media keep telling us how safe it is up there: safe to eat the food, safe for evacuees to return home, safe for tourists and so on.

In fact, to prove how safe it is perhaps Mr.Mori, Abe and the rest could have a little swim themselves. I'm sure that would cheer up the long-suffering residents of Tohoku no end.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

@Sensei258 nail head!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's funny, there are signs posted there that swimming is not allowed, but they want to use it as an Olympic venue

Not just that: one of the events is "marathon swimming." LOL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

O'Daiba used to be the world's largest garbage island until it was capped and built on some 30 odd years ago. It is well-documented that the capping process was insufficient and it has been leeching all kinds of chemicals and toxins into Tokyo bay since it was capped. This is the main reason swimming is banned on the island. It is also banned because there are no lifeguards there. It's nearly criminal to hold an international swimming even in that cess pool. They have stated they will time the event with the weather. What is that rubbish? What are they gonna do if it rains for most of August (again) and the toxin and bacteria levels are just as high as they are now or higher? The venue needs to be moved to ensure the athletes are not exposed to potentially lethal bacteria and toxins.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

tests showed levels of E. Coli up to 20 times above the accepted limit and fecal coliform bacteria seven times higher than agreed

Exactly what you get from the LDP..A whole lot of CRAP.

He said the IOC would be looking for how Tokyo plans to address the matter so that "the health of the athletes in those two sports will not be prejudiced in any way."

Diplomacy at its finest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On TV last night they were explaining that under normal conditions, rain flows into gutters, mixes with sewage and flows on into treatment stations. Unusually heavy rain however, causes the sewage system to overflow temporarily into Tokyo Bay, the way it was originally designed to do.

And that is when they got those high readings. (There is a similar Victorian system in place on the Thames in London, I believe.)

Remember that from mid-August the seas around Japan fill with stinging jellyfish and other nasties. Where else could they hold these swimming events, I wonder?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah yes, they'll be literally swimming in crap, just as we long term residents are metaphorically doing the same here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And slowly but surely, the failure to come up with anything more than wishful thinking is causing “plans” to unravel.

And its unvelievable they are now deciding they may delay events baEd on weather, when people will be flying from around the world, on strict schedules, to compete in a Games Tokyo guaranteed we’re solid and safe. They going to delay outdoor events for the entire summer?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It seems the place should be changed to another better place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Had docked in Tokyo harbour in 1995 and found the bay water absolutely clean with locals fishing in the harbour. Since it's a open sea unlike a enclosed swimming pool it's definitely difficult to maintain the water purity standards to Olympic standards.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We could expect see some very fast record breaking times if they do have it there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does it have to be Tokyo? Yes, I realise that it's the Tokyo Olympics but perhaps the organisers could move that particular venue?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Caught once be sure we had a lot more rainfall than usual but even still this is a bad situation that should have been in plain sight, actually it probably was but they went ahead anyway, I mean they lied once again....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like Bruce Lee said: be water my friend

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The plan is to dump several million liters of bleach into the bay just before the swim meet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Leave it alone and let it take care of itself" + "Ignore it and hope it goes away" + "We are deeply sorry (we got caught)" + "We've done nothing wrong and it is regrettable that the rest of the world misunderstands"...

Yap, yap, yap Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they're blaming unusual rainfall as an excuse, then why is swimming basically ALWAYS banned there?

Some of the latest numbers don't come close to meeting the safety standards, which makes me skeptical.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps this is what Abe was referring to when he claimed everything was contained within the harbour.

Or do they simply need a better plumber?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who in their right mind would swim around the Odaiba area, even the fish and crabs wash-up dead on the shoreline in large numbers. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is rapidly turning into an embarrassment for Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could they actually investigate how so much poop got into the water? I want to blame someone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Must be pretty embarrassing given the "stink" some here put up about how dirty Brazil's water was.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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