Koike again opposes plan to move Olympic marathon, walking race to Sapporo

By Charly Triballeau

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

© 2019 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

No hope is no hope, it proves itself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The pigheadedness against all reality of that woman breaks all records in any discipline.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

You know what's important news? Next summer, that of 2020, at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, people will die of heatstroke. Athletes, staff, volunteers, spectators, AND mom and pop sitting at home without the AC on. Move this news forward with the goal of changing the Olympics to October when no one will die of heatstroke.

This summer, 23,000 Japanese people were hospitalized for heatstroke and they weren't even exerting themselves. They probably weren't gathered within hordes of people either. Several died.

If the Olympics were to be held in July or August, do you think there will be enough ambulances to rush (and I use that word loosely) people to hospitals to be treated for heatstroke? Even if there are added ambulances for the Olympics, where does that leave mom and pop?

Push your government leaders to push Japan's leaders to move the Olympics to October.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"I didn't agree with (moving events to) Sapporo. The expression 'a bolt from the blue' would be appropriate," she said, when asked for her reaction when she heard about the plan.

Whether she agreed or not, athlete should come first not bureaucrat. 

If this were even organized by Japanese they'll to stick to the plan whatever their bureaucrat told them to do. If something were to happen, athletes go to hospital due to heatstroke, all they will do just bow.

Tokyo has spent heavily on heat mitigation measures, including coating the route of the marathon with material that is supposed to reduce the impact of the city's notoriously warm and sticky summer weather.

It never tested whether will work in Tokyo 2020 , Sapporo gives more assurance for this.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Koike's insist sounds to me like typical "omotenashi" , apathetic endless training program for guests until they obey fully voluntarily or involuntarily.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If Koike wants the marathon in Tokyo, I propose she needs to accompany the athletes from start to finish with no AC. Set up a little kei truck with a treadmill on the back of it. She can run (heck, let's be nice and let her walk) on the treadmill while the kei truck follows behind the slowest runners. She can get water breaks when the pack she is following hits a water stand. Pretty sure she'd need medical attention once finished. There might be an ambulance left for her after they've carted everyone else to medical care.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Soccer and hockey matches will be tough in the heat as well plus 10,000 metre races.

I would have thought that Tokyo would be very happy to offload problematic events to more suitable venues. Much less possibility of something going wrong. Yachting should go to the part of Japan with ost wind and surfing to where there are the best waves. Which is not Shidashita!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the hot temperature is a big problem for athletes, why not run for 2 hours inside athletic dome in the well conditioned temperature. I think many athletes can have new records.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

it seems to me that spectators are complaining much more about hot temperature and athletes will not complain much about temperature. If route place is decided whether route is hot temperature, high steep hills or a lot of rain fall, whatever,,, athletes just train to adapt body for the route condition. If athletes think they can't run, then do not join in the race. Race route can't be always nice and flat with comfortable temperature. All countries have different route conditions. Tokyo have nothing wrong for marathon race and walk race.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Push your government leaders to push Japan's leaders to move the Olympics to October.

You can push all you like, it won’t happen. It wouldn’t have happened if you pushed people before Japan’s bid was even considered. The IOC demands that they be held in high summer, not the JOC, so get used to them being held then.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Once again a perfect example of the country's total lack of incompetence and disregard of human life. They way she talks just shows that it's still a PR campaign for her. Would like to see her running a marathon.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The marathon is one of the prestige events abd it comes near the end of the olympics. Its gonna take the focus right off thehost city and put it on sapporro! Good! koike deserves it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kwatt, better yet, let the athletes play a marathon video game!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The new national stadium is the best of the best for marathon. They just run around the 400 meter track field about 103 times. No worry about heatstroke, typhoon, rain, wind, up and down hills and anything.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Koike San, I know you represent the voices of Tokyo residents, but do you, or the resident who complained, really intend to stand out there personally and cheer for three hours, and furthermore do you want to be held responsible for athlete or spectator deaths from heatstroke next summer? You will be so accused if you succeed in keeping them in Tokyo, despite this small loss of face from the IOC's 'bolt from the blue'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And when the marathon goes balls up with all the heat stroke cases and outrage from overseas, as usual she'll backpeddle and deny that she said any such thing

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If Koike is sincere she should say that she'll personally pay for any medical costs associated with athlethes which suffer from heatstroke or other problems if they were to keep the marathon in Tokyo!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kwatt, what youre suggesting isnt a marathon, its a farce. But come to think of it I support your idea - it would put the icing on the absurdity cake that these Olympucs will be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Madden, but what about the dead?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Okay, how about this... if Koike is willing to sign a written contract that she will bear personal responsibility and any and all costs for injuries and/or deaths in all cases, I say let Tokyo have it. If she is not, then she has to explain why not, because that explanation would know doubt unconsciously or consciously state the obvious -- holding it in Tokyo, even in the dead of night, could easily result in heatstroke and deaths.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I experienced a full Japanese summer a few years ago. Good lord, it was a sweaty, humid hell with scorching, burning sun. Sometimes, I could only got out for a few minutes before giving up and going inside during the peak times. I love Japan but man alive, that summer was OooOooh! No way, I'd ever run in that / do any athletics / even sit outside watching it! It's also unfair on the athletes. You train for four years, only to have the sweltering, humid weather totally knock you out. It definitely should be held in October.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Share the wealth, Koike-San. Greed doesn't work with world sports. Besides, we all know how severe summertime is in Tokyo. Glad to learn OIC is taking the right course of action when it comes to athletes welfare.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Koike, be quiet, you already made your point once. The IOC has made their decision for the better. If you wanted this discussed you and your cronies would have dragged your feet delaying it until it would have been too late to hold it somewhere safer. She only cares about the image of Tokyo and not the welfare of the runners who will be doing the event in the high heat and humidity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is no way she can accept such a move as to do so is to accept that the whole basis of argument for holding the Olympics in Tokyo in summer is invalid. And where would she and her political cronies be then?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Someone should tell this lady that initially the Olympic Games were meant to be about Sports and Athletes and not about Business and Ego of Politicians.

She is not afraid of the event moving to Sapporo she is afraid some foreign visitors will move there and find the place more to their liking than Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Koike Yuriko ,s being stubborn . . . ( became too proud ) . . . too much pride , that,s not good . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forget Hokkaido, why not Tohoku prefecture, plenty of land space out there and the weather is just as nice too.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese politicians are totally out of touch with reality. Koike certainly is. Abe is in lala land. Why can't we get some politicians who fulfill their job description, in other words, who represent their people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everything seems too late. IOC, JOC Tokyo and Sapporo don't want to pay large amount of money for the change. Snow falls soon in Hokkaido until April, so they can't prepare for new route, accommodations, staffs, facilities, etc, etc from now while snowing a lot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once again a perfect example of the country's total lack of incompetence and disregard of

lack of competence

The decision came after the recent world championships in Doha, when both the men's and women's marathons started at midnight but heat and humidity still presented massive problems.

The officials saw a potential problem and took swift action. It would be regrettable if they didn’t see this through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo has been doing Tokyo marathon in summer for the last 10 years to simulate the event. Nobody died. Sapporo is good if it can be prepared by then. There will be snow until April. Only by then can they start construction, planning the route, the volunteers, the logistics, accommodation...Marathon stays in Tokyo. Its too late for anything else.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of posters here don't actually understand the situation at hand. The budget is already stretched thin and organizers have no clue where the additional funds are going to come from to prepare Sapporo. As I stated before, it's a political move. Things will stay in Tokyo and when runners start passing out, the IOC can point it's finger at someone instead of taking the blame for trying to make more money at the athletes' expense. The IOC has still yet to begin informing it's organizers of what to do in Sapporo. Too much money and testing has gone into Tokyo to suddenly just give it up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stubbonness will lead the heatstroke. This was actually a gift to Tokyo so that it had a means of ensuring safety first

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This situation is rapidly escalating into a nasty confrontation between Koike and the IOC. John Coates, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, was quoted as saying "It's not a matter of if the Tokyo government insists. The decision has been taken" to move the marathon to Sapporo. More here at

Now, let's see what happens if Koike gets her way and this decision is rescinded. There will be a lot of unhappy people either way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only by then can they start construction, planning the route, the volunteers, the logistics, accommodation...Marathon stays in Tokyo. Its too late for anything else.

Not according to IOC. There’s enough time. The Japanese work so well together when they put their minds together.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why is this being discussed so late in the proceedings? It's not as though Tokyo SUDDENLY became unbearably hot in the summer! What on Earth are the Japanese politicians and the IOC doing? Why don't they research and plan?

Is this outside their job description?

0 ( +0 / -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