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Upcoming: "Tokyo 2020: Olympics and the arguments of the opponents"

Book preview and lecture by Andreas Singler

The Olympics and Paralympic Games in Tôkyô 2020 do not only meet with love in Japan.There is a lot of approval as well as considerable resistance. Widely rejection beats the mosimportant sports festival in the world especially from the Japanese anti-nuclear movement.Their members fear that the mega-event proclaimed as "Reconstruction Games" (fukkô gorin 復興五輪) will be misused to make the Fukushima nuclear accident forgotten and thatresources needed for the Olympics will be lost to the victims of the 2011 triple disaster.

 

"For the moment we should not do that," is one of the most widely heard statements about Tôkyô 2020 among anti-nuclear protesters. Olympics are being politically abused, it is said. In order to demonstrate to the world public that the situation in the disaster affected region is “under control”, the government repopulates - under the exercise of economic coercion - step by step many of those areas that was evacuated in 2011, despite still significantly increased radiation. The slogan of the"Reconstruction Games" is therefore opposed by some critics of the term "Reconstruction-Obstruction Games" (fukkô bôgai gorin 復興妨害五輪).

 

Genuine Olympic opponents also criticize major sporting events in the core. LikOlympics’ opponents worldwide, they justify their rejection from a socio-political and human-rights perspective. Thus, in Tôkyô as anywhere else Olympics are criticized as an engine of gentrification, social degradation, and the displacement of homeless people from the cityscape. Large projects would be realized by means of gigantic redistributions of public capital into private-sector profit. Celebration Capitalism (shukuga shihonshugi 祝賀資本主), as US political scientist Jules Boykoff was naming it, used to be accompanied by growing nationalism and a negative impact on the democratic culture of host countries.

 

Many believe, in addition, that those high ethical standards which the olympic movement is dealing with are no longer compatible with the social reality of major sports organizations and their problems between widespread corruption and structurally promoted doping.

 

Andreas Singler is a German journalist, Japanologist (M.A.), and sports scientist (PhD). For many years he has dealt with the problematic aspects of modern high-performance sports. As a Japanologist he is researching about Japanese protest culture, in particular about the anti-nuclear power movement and the resistance against Tôkyô 2020. Since 2012 he also is investigating about the situation in Fukushima.



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