Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 215


Tokyo Vice Gov. Toshiyuki Akiyama "will fill in for Naoki Inose," who announced his resignation as governor Thursday, as the city "prepares to launch an organizing committee early next year for the 2020 Olympics," according to KYODO. At a meeting Friday, Education and Sports Minister Hakubun Shimomura and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda "confirmed that Akiyama will take charge of Olympic-related matters for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government until February’s gubernatorial election." Shimomura said, "We agreed the three of us will continue preparations with speed and briskness ... (and) to pick a managing director as soon as possible" (KYODO, 12/21).

EMERGENCY PLAN: JIJI reported the Tokyo Metropolitan Government "is set to advance efforts to draw up evacuation plans" for the 2020 Olympics after a key panel last week pointed out a 70% likelihood of a "large earthquake striking the capital 'within 30 years.'" The report released last week by the Central Disaster Management Council "apparently urged Tokyo to take steps." Some 10 million people "are expected to flock to the capital to witness the sporting spectacle" (JIJI, 12/22).

Germany "will send its sports minister" to attend the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the government said Friday, after President Joachim Gauck said that he would "stay away from the event in Russia." A spokesperson said, "Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere will travel as the German Minister of Sports to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi to attend sporting competitions and support the German athletes on site" (AFP, 12/20). ... A "prominent Russian environmental activist" who has reported on the environmental fallout from construction for the 2014 Sochi Olympics "has been sentenced to three years in prison." Yevgeny Vitishko and another activist "were found guilty of deliberate destruction of property and given a three-year suspended prison sentence" in '12. The other activist, Suren Gazaryan, "fled Russia" (AP, 12/20). ... Slovakian sports fan Matej Čička was named the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Medal design competition winner. The winning concept, entitled "Track of Winners," was chosen from a pool of more than 300 entries from 50 countries (IOC).