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Sarcastic Koike says: Let's hold Olympic marathon on Russian-held islands

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In the 60s people had more common sense.

Very true. And October, early fall, is a great time to do sports. It boggles the mind organisers did not come to their senses over the years since planning to hold the games in the seasonally most uncomfortable time of the year and that in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Chip Star Oct. 18  06:44 am JST Good idea with the exception that those islands are Russian territory. Japan did, afterall, disclaim these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952. (Japan wanting the islands back is reneging on its word.) Yup indeed

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese athletes train for "Tokyo 2020" and not for "Hokkaido 2020"

Hokkaido 2020 is better for African athletes and more generally doped athletes

because the harsh climatic conditions are more favorable for athletes "clean"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most of the champion runners train in Africa, which is real hot.

I can tell you have not been to Africa. It's a myth that Africa is really hot

Best Marathoners are from Kenya

The capital, Nairobi, is located near the Equator, at 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) above sea level. The altitude makes daytime temperatures pleasant, while keeping nights cool. Highs hover around 21/22 °C (70/72 °F) in the coolest months (June, July and August) and around 25/26 °C (77/79 °F) in the warmest months (January, February and March), while lows drop to around 10/11 °C (50/52 °F) from June to September and go up to 12/14 °C (54/57 °F)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the 60s people had more common sense.

Especially in 1964 when they had the Tokyo Olympics from Oct. 10

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would she rather have a runner die during the olympics? Try running in heat and humidity for over 2 hours and see how you feel. In Doha they are lucky no one died during the world championships marathon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Possibly a good idea worth exploring by Japan's PM.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the 60s people had more common sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe Tokyo shouldn't have said it has "mild weather" during the period of the Games in its bid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IOC can have the marathon anywhere they like! so long as tokyo tax money is not paying anything for it! tokyo spent the money to bring the olympics to tokyo for the benefit of tokyo. the IOC knew what summers in tokyo are like when they awarded the games. while the health of the athletes is important they should be prepared for the heat. even in qatar a lot of the athletes finished. doesn't triumphing over adversity make for superior athletes?

now one of the few events that tokyo residents could participate in for free is gone.

i'd rather they not have the olympics in japan at all, than see any money go to the crooked nepotistic IOC!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Silly Bitch.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just make the marathon in Tokyo AT NIGHT, at 21:00 or 22:00 same humidity, but less heat, and less traffic jams for the city

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Governor is thinking of the athletes and their quest for glory.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why bring up such unpleasant politics, Olympics is about international peace and cooperation in pursuit of sport (or something like that). Anyway it's a good idea to scatter events over the archipelago both to promote Japan's beauty and avoid over crowding.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nemawashi (根回し) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.

Unfortunately for (insert vested interest of choice), the IOC were away the day of the presentation on cultural sensitivity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It seems a bit late to change the venue after tickets have already been sold.

It's a free event, so no one has tickets for the marathon - well, apart from those in the stadium to see the competitors do their final one lap of the stadium, which is about as dull as you can get.

Considering that many of the competitors will be unable to finish the race in these conditions, and it is quite unsafe to even have it in the hot humid conditions of the Japanese summer, this does not seem to be a relevant comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If there is any survivor from the last world championship in Doha...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess you have to expect the Governor of Tokyo to try and look after her patch, but this a health and safety issue as much as anything. There is a five degree difference between Tokyo and Sapporo in median daytime maximum temperatures over July/August, and I'm sure I don't need to clarify which city is cooler.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It didn't come out of the blue.... it came because a recent marathon that was run in extreme heat turned into a medical disaster for all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Her "joke" makes no sense. Now, if she had said, "Why not hold them on the antarctic? and the winter Games in Okinawa if it's too cold somewhere else?" it might qualify as an exaggeration at the decision making process, but putting them on disputed islands as an example? Doesn't work. She has a right to be upset, though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you mean not honoring an international agreement after signing and promising to do so? But what if Japan changed her mind?

Then Japan can complain, but it won't make any difference; and, Japan would be a hypocrite for complaining that other countries broke an agreement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Tokyo 1964 Olympiad was held in October 10-24 (15 days) and this present time October not able to be held for other sport events like baseball Nippon series? Hmm, I checked US of more national events there, American football, Basket ball, Baseball, etc... And the American broadcast is in top privilege to IOC get profits the Olympiad be held in August. What else behind the curtains!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many of the African runners dropped out of the men's and women's events in Doha, from the humidity more than from the heat itself. This is surely what got the authorities to sit up and take notice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

well, the Japanese side was not budging or even sensitive to the idea so someone had to make a decision. I'm glad it wasn't later. Look forward to having the marathon in Sapporo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It seems a bit late to change the venue after tickets have already been sold.

why those tickets will be valid for the stadium in Sapporo, the Marathon is mostly free to be seen by the public on the course anyways

3 ( +3 / -0 )

personally i sympathise with Koike Yuriko and i found that sarcasm entertaining, i,m sure she,s upset but . . .

Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo, yes we get it, capital and biggest city of Japan, probably the best city in the world, depending on your perspective. but weather (in Tokyo) in the summer is a complete mess! do you really want to sacrifice the athletes? i don,t think so. and i have family members and friends that are extremely disappointed but the safety and comfort of those athletes is the number one priority. athletes come first, sorry.

and Sapporo deserves this. it is a beautiful city with great people and they deserve it too. people that only think of Tokyo remind me of those people that think of New York or USA as the center of the world. it,s not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why not cancel the Tokyo Olympics all together? And hold them in Russia, Korea South as well as North.... The Islands were Russian before Japan anexed them and Russia reclaimed them after WWII. Politics is at times very childish and politches are some times very big ignorant children who should get an education before being allowed to talk. Another Erdogan?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems a bit late to change the venue after tickets have already been sold.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Where has the media been these past 7 years? All they have done is cheer along and make inane and gleeful commentary.

Where they have always been, in the pocket and under the thumb of the J-govt and J-Inc...no surprises there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Secondly, I am surprised by the clever manoeuvre of the IOC. They are now in a win-win position. If Tokyo or the LOC2019 decide to organize these events in Tokyo anyway, and something goes wrong, they can wash their hands of it with " we told them so ". If they get organized in Sapporo, the sensible thing to do of course, IOC can pretend they care for the athletes and everyone else involved.

My thought.

The governor of Tokyo was not smart on this one. The major of Sapporo was.

She should have show her discontentment and protected honor of Japanese by being sarcastic about the IOC.

There is already people which totally whitewashed the IOC, putting all the blame on Japanese official and the JOC.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tokyo lied in their bid regarding the temperature as being comfortable for hosting the games and IOC knew it was a lie and still awarded Tokyo the games because IOO stood to make more money with Tokyo than the other bidding cities.

The lure of the money was to strong for the IOC to resist. The Doha World championship showed that the IOC had no regard for athletes.

Forcing the IOC to make the decision they did to save their own behinds.

It is nit only the athletes that are at risk with the extreme heat but spectators as well. Surprised nobody is talking about the change of the national stadium design from the original Hadid design which was closed with Air condition to an open roof design by a local Achitect all in the false pretense of cutting cost.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am surprised for 2 reasons. The first , this rare mistake and miscalculation by an otherwise astute politician, one of the more clever ones. This is a very shortsighted response, more a Mori comment than a Koike comment.

Secondly, I am surprised by the clever manoeuvre of the IOC. They are now in a win-win position. If Tokyo or the LOC2019 decide to organize these events in Tokyo anyway, and something goes wrong, they can wash their hands of it with " we told them so ".  If they get organized in Sapporo, the sensible thing to do of course, IOC can pretend they care for the athletes and everyone else involved. 

As a sports marketing expert, who used to represent the worlds best marathon runners, I applaud the suggestion to hold the events in Hokkaido, which I suggested over 3 years ago but it is also very important for athletes and coaches and others to have clarity as soon as possible. The routes and conditions are completely different and require different preparations. There are only 9 months left and marathon runners, depending on the individual will specifically prepare for each race, 5 to 18 months in advance of that race, depending on style, preferences of the different coaches and runners.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why is she complaining? it's the people who miss out on the olympics. She has good seats while the average person will have no event to enjoy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which runners and where in Africa do they train.?

If not on the top of Kilamanjaro, which is in Tanzania on the border with Kenya, I am going to guess the overwhelming majority of runners from any country in Africa trained in hot conditions. Africa might be a huge continent...the biggest in fact...don't let 2D maps fool you, but the equator runs through it near its center. And it does not even go as far south as Tasmania or Argentina.

If they have marathons in Tokyo I think runners from every country in Africa are going to have a bit of an edge if we consider heat alone. What might get them though is the humidity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

donno about kurils, they are a bit far and most people would need the visas but I am all for sending Koike and her money grabbing friends to Siberia for some hard labor camping.

or at the very least ,make her swim at that toilet that odaiba is and run 40km in august heat in tokyo.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

HJSLLS

I have a better idea. How about plan the Olympic events in safe conditions for athletes early in the planning process or don’t host the Olympics at all.

Well Said!

These alternatives should be thought about during the presentation when they were bidding not months before the event opens! I love sports but I think Olympics is too extravagant and wasteful! The funny part is , the people who support and promoting GREEN and ENVIRONMENT SAVING agendas are the same people who support the Olympic which is a very unresourceful event. HYPOCRISY!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even the Northern Territories/Kuriles won't be cool enough.

Siberia would be better.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 I also want to criticize the Japanese medias that did not raise questions about holding the summer Olympics in Tokyo. They lack professionalism.

I agree 100%. Where has the media been these past 7 years? All they have done is cheer along and make inane and gleeful commentary.

Seven years ago when Tokyo was awarded these Olympics and I heard they were to be held at the end of July and beginning of Aug., I was pretty much in shock.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have a better idea. How about plan the Olympic events in safe conditions for athletes early in the planning process or don’t host the Olympics at all. Koike’s not being constructive at all with her sarcasm.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Most of the champion runners train in Africa, which is real hot.

Is the temperature and humidity the same in small Japan let alone a whole continent?

Which runners and where in Africa do they train.?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kumagaijin, Sapporo has a good record for hosting marathons, so for them it will be easy to organize.

Some of the athletics authorities in Japan are annoyed because running in extreme heat should have given Japanese runners an advantage, I have read on two or three news sites. Now, they say sniffily, that such a 'natural' advantage will be lost.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the immortal words of Eric Cartman, "Respect my authoritie!".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For what purpose other that to make tomorrows headline,

Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics Games;

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be dancing like a Russian Cossack on this ludicrous suggestion. Deal with the issues at hand, don't make excuses for failing to manage the task at hand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is not such a bad idea as suggested by Koike-san. She is "thinking outside the box". However, it is too late to change the venue of such a blue riband event as the Marathons races. Tokyo is ready, willing and capable of staging brilliant races. Start early morning, heat wont be an issue. Most of the champion runners train in Africa, which is real hot.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I half-agree with her, even though it sounds a bit like something Ishihara would have said.

The IOC is basically freaking out now because world athletics messed up with Doha. If the venue is going to change, Tokyo should publicly ask IOC members to refund all that money in those brown envelopes. Tokyo paid for that marathon!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A "festival of peace" sounds nice, but how would the athletes and spectators all get there to watch? Boat? Ship? You also have to provide security. Sounds like a festival of chaos and cost a fortune to organize.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why not simply transfer the whole Olympics to Moscow? It could be a more suitable venue than Tokyo, not too hot in Tokyo. I suppose it is a little late for that though.

Perhaps some swimming and surfing events could at the same time be transferred to the Senkakus.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In fairness to Koike, I can well imagine why she is bent out of shape over this.

So, let's be clear. These are the Tokyo Olympics. To be hosted by the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, together with Japan Olympic Committee, with the IOC, having approved Tokyo's bid, responsible for monitoring progress and consulting with all parties regarding any concerns they might have.

What is clear here is that, whatever legitimate issues there were and are about hosting the Olympics in Tokyo in the hottest part of the year, particularly for long distance running events, the IOC made a decision and public announcement, without, at the very least consulting with the Tokyo Governor and the Mayor of Sapporo.

Both Koike and the Sapporo mayor were made to look like they were completely out of the loop. Which they were.

My guess? The IOC consulted with the JOC and probably with some members of the Tokyo Organizing Committee. These people probably spoke with Abe / the Japanese government.

Completely leaving Koike out of the loop. She is made to look like an idiot, with the fact that she is a female only making the perception worse.

My bet is that Abe knew more about this than she did, given the good ole' boy network. As for the Sapporo mayor, I am wondering if that was almost intentional, given that they couldn't inform him and NOT inform Koike.

Very poorly handled and if I were Koike, I would probably have reacted with a rather sarcastic comment as well.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan used the emotional angle of "rebuilding Tohoku after 3/11 to win the Games, so hold it in Sendai....cooler than Tokyo, easier to access by a shinkansen and would manifest that Japan /Abe was not just full of hot air when bidding for the Games.

Having said that Sapporo is way better than Tokyo no doubt , not just cooler , way less humidity ...beautiful in summer as ilovecoffee said in the post above.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I laughed at the sarcasm. Then again, I haven't from Koike in a long while. She probably wanted some attention.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Funny how few people here ever grasp sarcasm. Even when it is clearly pointed out in the article.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Another Japanese polly with foot in mouth disease.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I kind of like it when a Japanese politician shows a sense of humor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

She was obviously being sarcastic, which I would be at this point too considering many family of athletes have probably already bought air tickets. I wonder if the marathon can't realistically be held one one of the relatively flat highlands near Tokyo--Hakaone, Fuji highlands, Karuizawa, Nasu. That way, it's just a train ride away. Cycling is already being held in Izu.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a great idea!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you mean not honoring an international agreement after signing and promising to do so? But what if Japan changed her mind?

Of course they can change their mind but what they can do to regain the island? Only by using statement?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Another one who doesn't know what she (or he) is talking about.

But, hey, it was "just a joke" ..... like so many other things uttered by (not only) Japanese politicians.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

While she is being very petty and petulant with her comment, I do like the fact that she got a got zinger in at Abe and his love affair with Putin.

And while it is for the better of everybody, athletes, spectators alike, the IOC should have consulted with her at first. Like it or not these are called the Tokyo games, not the Japanese Olympics.

Which brings me to a big problem I have. Why can't the games be hosted by a country, and spread them around? Why must they be only in one city?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

should be held somewhere on Russia-held, Japan-claimed islands off Hokkaido if cooler weather conditions are needed.

It should be just cool enough compared to Tokyo not necessarily extreme cooler. She always being quite about her international politic point of view, especially compared her predecessor to Ishihara. Now she show her view.

thwarting change that does not proceed through established channels.

How about establishing channel for domestic purpose, like they forget to contact Sapporo Mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto to inform that his city will be used for Olympic.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said he was not contacted by anyone from the IOC before the announcement.

https://japantoday.com/category/sports/IOC-apologizes-for-abrupt-plan-to-move-races-Sapporo-mayor-not-notified

1 ( +1 / -0 )

disclaim these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952. (Japan wanting the islands back is reneging on its word.)

Do you mean not honoring an international agreement after signing and promising to do so? But what if Japan changed her mind?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

What do you expect from no hope party ?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I've been to Sapporo before once. It's a very beautiful city, especially in the summer and autumn. They definitely need more recognition, and this would be a good opportunity. The only problem with Sapporo is that they aren't connected with a shinkansen yet with the mainland. They are currently building the line, but it's scheduled to open in 2030. When Hakodate got linked with the shinkansen, tourism in the city boomed, but Hakodate is by far one of the ugliest and dull cities i have ever been to in Japan. Hokkaido in general would've been so much more better off if they had more political autonomy. I've been told that the reason why there are so many traffic accidents in Hokkaido is because they are stuck with the same traffic laws passed by the central government, which are entirely designed for the narrow roads of the mainland.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Koike’s remark seems to prove my long-held suspicion that the Tokyo Governor is getting dementia.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Do Japanese politicians ever think before they speak? I guess everybody needing Russian visas slipped her mind. She's just dirty because the events are going to be moved from Tokyo.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Attention seeking idiot, and quite narcissistic too. It'll never happen and she knows it'll never happen, she just wants her mug all over the news

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Talk about disgruntled.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Koike said she is aware that athlete-first arrangements are essential but that the matter should be addressed in a larger context

In other words she prefers a Tokyo-first approach which is one of the main problems with these games. They were billed as an opportunity to rebuild the parts of the country ruined by the 2011 quake but instead Tokyo has hogged all of the funding for itself.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

All in all, it was a mistake Japan invited the Olympics. It was out of the blue when it was decided. "Why" was the feelings of most of the Japanese people. More surprisingly it was announced they were holding it in sweltering summer in Tokyo. That is the season people avoid going out to avoid heat. Some said there was no other choice but summer to hold the Olympics due to pressures from pro sports in America. Then, hold the summer Olympics in the southern hemisphere of the earth where the season is the other way around. A lot of tax money has been spent to prepare for the event. Mori as a top of the advocators and other politicians must take responsibilities. I also want to criticize the Japanese medias that did not raise questions about holding the summer Olympics in Tokyo. They lack professionalism.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

She's getting annoyed by all the attention. Especially the negative press. Also, she doesn't want to share the spotlight with another city.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

"It came out of the blue," Koike is also quoted by the official as saying at the gathering of the Tokyo branch of the nation's largest labor organization, in an apparent expression of displeasure over the IOC's plan.

That explains it. There wasn't a pre-meeting (never mind multiple pre-meetings). The cultural difference between opting to change on the fly and thwarting change that does not proceed through established channels.

The quip was funny.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

What a crackpot! She’s angry spiteful they decided to move the events and just spouted the first stupid thing that came to her mind.

11 ( +23 / -12 )

Koike said she is aware that athlete-first arrangements are essential but that the matter should be addressed in a larger context of how to achieve the success of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

In other words, screw the athletes, your prestige and your image are all that count!

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Bitter, attention hungry leech who cares nothing for the welfare of the athletes, the welfare of the spectators, or even the welfare of the people she was elected to serve.

She just wants attention, and is willing to lie, cheat, and put other people at risk to do so.

13 ( +29 / -16 )

Good idea with the exception that those islands are Russian territory. Japan did, afterall, disclaim these islands when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952. (Japan wanting the islands back is reneging on its word.)

4 ( +23 / -19 )

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