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Volume 6 No. 212


With just over three months until the IOC votes on the 2020 Olympic host city, the bid "seems adrift and still lacking a cogent message about why Tokyo should host the biggest global sporting event," according to Jack Gallagher of the JAPAN TIMES. Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose’s recent "unfortunate comments about Turkey and Islam were just the latest misstep by the bid organizers." Many "will try to write it off as another example of a politician putting his foot in his mouth," but with Inose being the Tokyo 2020 bid chairman, "that is not so easy." It "speaks to a deeper issue that is often seen in Japan: a lack of understanding about the feelings of others and a stubbornness that can be very counterproductive." The problems with Tokyo’s bid "are many," but the most significant is "the continuing attempt to tie it into the financial muscle of the nation, playing the safety card, and linking it to the March 11 disaster in Tohoku." The reality is that for many years, "big-time sporting events have been coming to Japan less and less." It is "a very obvious sign that the market for them has been contracting like many other things in this country." Japan "is no longer seen as a great place to stage major events." That "is the bottom line" (JAPAN TIMES, 5/22).