Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic Games: A good decision? You decide

Renae Lucas-Hall is an Australian-born British novelist and writer of Japanese fiction and non-fiction and also the author of Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story. Her blog site has fascinatingly insightful articles on Japanese culture, language, and traditions. An example is her blog post on teaching English in Japan.

I’d like to say congratulations to Tokyo for being selected to host the Olympic Games in 2020. I think this is wonderful news and an excellent decision which has definitely uplifted the spirit of the Japanese people.

There has been a lot of controversy about whether this was a wise decision due to the ramifications following on from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. I understand that this is an on-going issue and that many people in Japan and on an international scale are concerned about whether this continuing nuclear problem will be properly addressed now that Japan needs to spend so much to provide for the 2020 Olympics. Many questions are being asked about why such a huge amount of money is being spent on the Olympics when so much money is still needed to fix the problems in Fukushima.

I’ve been trying to find the answers to these questions and therefore I’ve been reading a lot of articles online about the Olympics and the concerns surrounding this decision to stage the Olympics in Tokyo.

One publication that has closely covered the Olympic decision and which has tried to be unbiased about the decision to have the Olympics in Tokyo is the online newspaper The New York Times. This newspaper stated on 07 September 2013 that Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, has asked the public to “Please look at the facts, not the newspaper headlines.”  After reading several newspaper articles, I’m convinced that Mr Shinzo Abe will certainly be addressing all of the nuclear issues and the problems associated with them as quickly as possible. I believe that Mr Abe will not ignore the problems and that he is proactive in his decisions. The New York Times also stated that “Since Shinzo Abe came into power late last year and unleashed bold monetary and government reforms to jump-start the economy, Japan has gone from a global economic laggard to the fastest growing nation in the Group of 7.” I’d like to point out that if Mr Abe can do this for the economy in such a short amount of time, he can also clean up the Fukushima problems in a timely and effective manner.

While many people are sceptical about whether the Japanese government is ignoring the nuclear issues, I believe that it has to be said that the decision made for Tokyo to host the Olympics in 2020 has definitely increased the confidence and optimism of the Japanese people and how they believe Japan is represented on a worldwide scale. I’d like to add that The New York Times also included a quote from Harumi Arima, an independent political analyst, saying “Japan has seemed to be overshadowed by the rise of China and other developing nations. These Olympics will give Japan a chance to be reborn, to feel for themselves that Japan can still be vibrant.”

After speaking with a few friends in Tokyo in the last few days, I can confidently say that they were elated to hear the news that Tokyo was selected to host the Olympics in 2020. I was also really pleased to hear so much excitement and hope in their voices now that they feel that their country Japan can look forward to a brighter and better future.

If you would like to read the two articles from The New York Times regarding the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo which were released on 07 September 2013 please click HERE and HERE.

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