IOC tells Tokyo 2020 organizers they must prepare for questions, criticism

By Jack Tarrant

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

© Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

This could be embarrassing!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Should be very embarrassing considering the attitude that Japan takes with regards to any criticism from abroad.

I hope the games are successful, yet dont want them to break the bank in the process. Tokyo was very hesitant to host the games in the first place, because the national government wanted to use the ton of savings that Tokyo has invested and not use federal money.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Out of all the applicants, I never thought that Tokyo was a good choice for the 2020 games.

And one thing that Japan is definitely not good at, is accepting criticism.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

our stakeholders

And who might these special Gods be?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And not wanting, or maybe being prepared to answer question too... having worked the Y2K issue with the banks, the parties simply won’t do it unless some brave soul takes it on and makes up the answers on their own.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hmm is this when Japan Inc starts to learn that the bows, sorry, there is no excuse and we will try harder parade doesn't actually amount to much without real accountability, a plan and transparency?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The IOC's unveiled message is, "You lied in your bid, and now you've got to deal with it."

8 ( +10 / -2 )

And one thing that Japan is definitely not good at, is accepting criticism.

Bingo. Did the Japanese media cover the criticism of 2020 preparations at the SportAccord meeting in Bangkok last week? I don't remember seeing anything, although I was quite busy.


And who might these special Gods be?

The National Olympic Committees, the various sports federations, logistics companies, security companies, broadcasters and sponsors (Coca-Cola, Visa and so on). Lots of people who need clear and minutely detailed answers to very sharp questions.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I have too wonder... why Mori? If I wanted the Tokyo Olympics to fail, he's exactly the old fossil I would choose to put in charge.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Just wait till the free wheeling international media get here, now that's going to be funny.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Games organizers have been working to slash costs after a study in 2016 warned that expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate made in the bid process.

I hope slashing costs doesn't mean that the safety of the venues goes down. Also what is Mori still doing here, get him out please, he should be retired by now.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The IOC has been in the headlines for corruption so I guess they're the right body to name and shame Tokyo 2020 lol

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Criticism won’t be reported as much as the praises. Newscasters radiate beams of sunshine when they do a story of a Japanese fan voluntarily picking up rubbish after a football match.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The french probe into abe bribary seems to have fissiled out, but hosting the games in a city expecting a M10.earthquake and tsunami, located 120km from an out of control nuclear disaster....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think that the IOC need to investigate the issue of the origional planned stadium.

Last I heard, the company which designed it has not yet been fully paid.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

That's hilarious, the corrupt IOC lecturing Japan on how to prepare for the games.

I'm not surprised the usual suspects here would side with an organization that is full of corruption against Japan. Shameful.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The IOC is just one of the organizations an Olympic event has to deal with. For every event, there is a Federation, who must accept the arrangements for that sport. To take a simple example, the FIBA requires all doors in basketball facilities to be higher than normal. They signed off the basketball courts in London 2012, but a few weeks before the Olympics, they found that shared practice halls had standard height doors. Contractors had to hurriedly replace doors in all the practice halls.

Coates' point is that Tokyo will face that kind of problem with every single sporting Federation, no matter what deals they have cooked up with the IOC. Being one year behind schedule, for example .....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Given the Japan propensity for fraud over the years as noted in the news about falsifying records, from the government on down into Japan Inc, the federations have reason to worry

No one is going to be thick skinned overnight either, so this issue will only grow.

There must have been some problems already for Coates to bluntly explain the problem. Probably means he's already had to step in to get information for a federation and was not getting through

20 people to screw in a lightbulb with meetings and sub meetings isn't how the Olympics are going to get done.

Let's hope competent people will get the roles now and those that are in over their heads will step down ASAP

6 ( +7 / -1 )

IOC is going to need a shadow committee to mitigate the management issues

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yep if you want the 2020 Olympics to fail, putting an 80 year old former PM in charge is certainly the way.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

To take a simple example, the FIBA requires all doors in basketball facilities to be higher than normal. They signed off the basketball courts in London 2012, but a few weeks before the Olympics, they found that shared practice halls had standard height doors. 

Thanks for that insightful example, A-Cross.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this world known event of Olympic Games of every 4 years is going further extravagance: Should prevent corruptions of top organizers. Avoid the sponsorship (stakeholders) who only take part for tax reductions strategy. Methods of using well the taxes collected from JP citizens what are basically the budget. A well managed and calculated entrance fees. Focus deeply the athletes, the sports and the arbitrary to attract each event. Replace Mori to a younger organizer, he wanted the budget higher.

Tokyo 2020 to be an example that Olympic Games is not extravagance, but a spot of athletes of many sports to they compete well in a good environment. Simplicity ahead of all!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Out of all the applicants, I never thought that Tokyo was a good choice for the 2020 games.


And one thing that Japan is definitely not good at, is accepting criticism.

So true. They make Donald Trump look positively thick skinned

Yep if you want the 2020 Olympics to fail, putting an 80 year old former PM in charge is certainly the way.

The guy looks like he's got one foot in the grave already. This is going to blow up in their faces. Wait and see

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Additional: Security probably could be surpassing the initial budget but very important and unavoidable item...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"And one thing that Japan is definitely not good at, is accepting criticism."

Lol, no one said they have to accept it. Just ignore it or more than like likely find someone else to blame it on.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"And one thing that Japan is definitely not good at, is accepting criticism."

Who is this 'Japan' of which you speak? I do not know of any entity that refers to itself as such.

I would agree that many Japanese people are not good at accepting criticism. I would also add however that in my experience, most human beings are not good at accepting criticism. People who are able to accept it and improve off it are the exception, not the rule.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Boycott it and its advertisers. It's the only language they understand.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Lords of the RIngs enter Tokyo, and don't like negative responses from the OrCs!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While I understand some of the criticism the sheer amount of negativity here is astounding.

Boycott it? On what grounds.

Out of control nuclear disaster? Yes, the meltdown was shameful and a mess but at this point it is not out of control.

I was also here during Y2K (big non event) and did work with some industrial companies who were more than willing to undergo some rigorous testing.

Does Japan have problems? Absolutely. There will certainly be issues (sailing in Enoshima could be problematic and polluted waters for triathalon are a couple) but wow. The amount of negativity here is even more than I expected.

And yes, the IOC has proven to have been corrupt in the past (I am not saying Japan is perfect either).

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

 from an out of control nuclear disaster..

The radiation levels in Tokyo are just normal back ground readings and less than most major cities.

Overseas major cities (unit μSv/h)

Tokyo 0.04 2018.4.3

New York 0.05 2018.1.23

Paris 0.04 2017.10.15

Beijing 0.07 2018.1.25

Seoul 0.12 2018.1.25

Singapore 0.10 2018.1.24

Even Fukushima is only 0.15μSv/h compared with 2.74μSv/h in 2011.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

After the debacle of the Nagano Winter Olympics in '98, I'm surprised the IOC ever allowed Japan to host again. For spectators, little foreign language signage, incompetent volunteer assistants/"translators", stalls serving udon and oden but no vegetarian or Western food, for the record corruption between local pos, construction co's and the JOC, Japanese judges attempting to rig the outcome of ice skating events, bribery of IOC officials by representatives from Nagano, followed by a fire in which all the documents attesting to these practices mysteriously disappeared... Google "nagano winter olympics scandal".

1 ( +4 / -3 )


Much of your comment on the 1998 Winter Olympics is incorrect. We lived in a village next to Hakuba from 1994 so we had first hand experience. There were roads signs in Japanese and English along the new road built from Nagano City to Hakuba and another one to the other venues outside of the city. Nagano City was nicely rebuilt with bike lanes, English signs and the removal of overhead cables. There were thousands of volunteers. The games were a great success.

The main scandal of the games were the costs and who made the profits from building the stadiums. The Nagano citizen lost out on that and are still paying for the cost of it. There wasn't a fire. The guy with the accounts burnt them.

I can't comment on the food that was available but not sure why someone would travel to a foreign country like Japan expecting to find western foods. You expect foods from every country? Tokyo won't have any food problems since they are already available.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

In all of the years of the olympics, how many projects have been on/under budget? When it comes to over spending I don't think Tokyo will be an exception to the rules, as for the inspection, I would love to be a fly on the wall when the Piercing questions start! I would like the IOC to ask how many brown bags have been handed out?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi - I remember prior to the Winter Olympics in Nagano also.

I was not living there, however having a client in Saku (near Sakudaira) it is nice to now be able to take the Shinkansen from Tokyo now and get there in under 1 1/2 hours. I remember having to take the old express train from Ueno (if not travelling by car). From that perspective there was a great deal of benefit for Nagano (having the new Shinkansen line).

3 ( +3 / -0 )


Yes, the extension of the Shinkansen was probably the best long term benefit. It allowed us to visit Tokyo and back all on the same day when previously we would have to stay overnight. That and the new road between Nagano City and Hakuba.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder if the fallback plan is to make use of what's left from the 1964 venues ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know if Japan is able to organize these Olympics. Probably not. But trying to portray the IOC like this "poor, innocent, naive organization" that was cheated by the Japanese is embarrassing. Japan was (and is) still facing huge problems with the recovery from the 3.11 manifold disaster, when they decided to give this Country the games. They knew also that Japanese economy is in a bad shape since the late 90s. They knew that Japanese summers are very hot and humid, and during this season there's plenty of typhoons. They already knew which kind of Country Japan is. And they knew already, that the budget would be increased, because this happened basically in every damn Olympics (also in the latest Winter Olympics in South Korea). Every Country has its small or big problems to host such a complex and expensive event like the Olympics, especially today. The only Country that is probably able to do it, without any particular complication, is China, because they are full of money in their pockets. The IOC could choose another Country, but it accepted Japanese candidature despite everyone knows the things that I listed earlier. Maybe the other candidates were also in a worse shape? I don't know it. The IOC doesn't care if the games are really successful or not, if the population is supporting the project or not (see what happened also with Rio 2016), they only care that some Country is "stupid" enough to accept the burden to host these corrupted and expensive games. The IOC is like FIFA, another corrupted organization that doesn't care about sport at all, it's all about money. They gave the Wolrd Cup to a Country like Qatar, that is building the infrastructures literally killings tons of exploited migrants. And please, don't tell me FIFA cares about human rights, but they didn't know which kind of Country Qatar is. What I am saying, is that both IOC and FIFA are not a bunch of innocent elementary school children, they are absolutely aware about the conditions of any Country in the world, and they are very corrupted. Stop treating the "poor" IOC like if it couldn't know which kind of problems Japan could face in this historical period in handling the games.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan’s defense due to the barrage of insults I have been involved in major sporting events for more than 15 years now and they run the most organized, on time , well thought out , professional tournaments and sports events with clockwork precision. If the event is to start at 9 am they have everyone lined up on stand by and countdown their watches to precisely 9 am then the music comes on and the event starts. It’s the envy of the world in my particular federation so cut them some slack , there’s always issues with costs and corruption etc to be rained in when you undertake a project of this magnitude. Here’s hoping for a successful and positive outcome that puts Japan back on the map again. And yes, they will have to learn how to answer some difficult questions and think on their feet but at least hope they rise to the challenge .

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