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JAPAN WELCOMES THE WORLD: OPENING CEREMONIES TONIGHT

          Japan, "in its worst economic straits since World War
     II, has spent a record $13 billion to stage an Olympics"
     which open today, according to Sullivan & Shipley on the
     front page of the WASHINGTON POST.  Sullivan & Shipley:
     "Now, against a backdrop of the country's high-tech magic,
     effusive hospitality and cultural treasures, approximately
     2,500 athletes are poised to provide inspirational, made-
     for-TV drama" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/6).  This morning in
     Nagano, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said, "I would
     like to say 'so far, so good'" (KYODO NEWS, 2/6).  
          EVERYBODY'S HAPPY: In L.A., Mike Penner wrote Nagano
     "is already outpacing Atlanta in almost every category on
     the organizational scorecard."  USOC Dir of PR Mike Moran:
     "They have been immediately responsive to problems" (L.A.
     TIMES, 2/6). In DC, Michael Wilbon writes, "Welcome to the
     We-Are-Not-Atlanta Games ... where everything works, where
     you don't see giant Nike swooshes on every building." 
     Wilbon adds, "You'd have to work to be cynical here" as many
     "can't find anything significant to complain about" (WASH.
     POST, 2/6).  In N.Y., Jere Longman writes the Games open
     "with a welcome that has become both extravagantly
     international and stirringly local" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6).  But
     in Chicago, Bernie Lincicome calls Nagano a "shabby choice"
     and a "junky little city."  Lincicome: "I hope things turn
     out better than they are starting" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/6).
     In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes traffic is a potential problem
     and is "expected to worsen" (N.Y. POST, 2/6).
          BOON OR BUST? USA TODAY's cover-story profiles Japan's
     hosting of the Games under the header, "Japan Hopes Games
     Will Lift Spirits" (USA TODAY, 2/6).  In Minneapolis, Weiner
     & Blount examine whether the Games are "a boon or a
     boondoggle" to Nagano (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/6).  In
     S.F., C.W. Nevius writes that Nagano is "still deeply
     conflicted about these Games" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6). 
          OPENING NIGHT: NAOC Exec Producer Keita Asari said that
     he has "gone out of his way" to keep Hollywood "glitz" out
     of tonight's Opening Ceremonies.  The event will "focus on
     Japanese culture and global peace instead of commercial
     entertainment" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/6). 

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