This is a solidarity statement from comrades in Tokyo, Japan, who are facing the potential of hosting the 2016 Olympics:
To No Olympic on Stolen Land, NO 2010, Anti 2010 resistance.
December 17th, 2008
We have just found out that in Vancouver there are people who oppose hosting the 2010 Olympic Games. We looked through the information book (Warrior Publications) which explains the reasons of opposition to the winter Olympic events. The stories reminded us of our experiences during the 1998 Nagano winter Olympics, and again we felt strong anger.
The fight in Nagano took us 10 years, starting from the Olympic invitation process, then becoming the host city and then having the actual Olympic event and after. Through out we saw the problems of natural destruction by resort developers. Japan's biggest developers used the Olympics to expand their already existing resort land. One of the developers was the leader of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC).
The cost of the construction of the bullet train line, Olympic highway, stadiums and Olympic venues which came from public funds was beyond what the local economy could afford; also it was pushed forward and done in a short period of time. The public’s financial burden is large, and they sacrificed the social welfare, the local public roads, and necessary things for people's life.
Behind the nationalism used to make the Olympics successful, there was no limit to the crazy development and the huge investment. Because the Olympics is "The festival of peace" the media created the air of "oppositions are unforgiveable". The people who publicly opposed the Olympics were called "Leftists, Anarchists" and the police kept their eyes on our members.
Railways, highways, and venues were needed to do short-term, fast, concentrated and large constructions. Of course they relied in part on foreign workers, but after construction was finished, in the name of “public safety”, there was a “clean up” where the police arrested illegal immigrants in what was called “the white snow operation". In Japan’s case foreign workers are from the developing Asian countries.
These are our experiences with the Olympics. We would like to tell you more of our experiences from the Nagano 1998 Olympics.
Right now we have the problem of having the invitation of the 2016 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The host of 2016 games will be decided in October 2009 at IOC Conference in Copenhagen. The candidates are Tokyo, Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Tokyo’s biggest reason of wanting the Olympics is the city's redeveloping, meaning the large construction companies needs for getting public tax money to invest. The investment to build the venues and its relations are said to be around 7 trillion dollars. In Japan the population of elderly people is growing. We don't think we need to cut the welfare money from the elders to build the development and mega venues that they will never use.
The Tokyo governor, in the centre of the invitation clearly states, “Kokui-Hatuyou - to boast nationalist prestige”. This nationalism cuts off the minorities, outsiders, and weak from society.
We are not asking for a “wonderful Olympics” or the “proper Olympics”. We insist that we do not need the Olympics themselves. We recognize clearly that the Olympics ride on two wheels of commercialism and Nationalism while the show owner IOC makes a large profit from the event. Successful business is the first priority of the host city. The host city can even buy the event. The host country throws a big nationalism campaign for a successful Olympics. The athletes are like the circus acrobats. For honour and money they will even drug themselves to do better. The ideology of "The festival of Peace" is only a slogan for show. This is what the Olympics really is.
On January 17th, 2009 we have organized a learning event to understand more about the No Olympics movement in the Vancouver area. We have asked Mr. Kio Miura to talk. We would like to ask you to give us some messages for our people here.
Network for No Olympics in Tokyo
Adress: 5-13-3 Arai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, Japan 165-0065