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Activists urge Japan to avoid Fukushima in Tokyo Olympics

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Oct 10, 2019
South Korean civic groups on Thursday kicked off a global campaign against potential radiation risks during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, demanding that Japan ban Fukushima food products and cancel games at the Japanese city.
 
“We launch an international campaign to protect thousands of athletes and visitors at the Tokyo Olympics from radiation risks and to stop the Japanese government from using the Olympics as a tool” to conceal lingering damages from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the environmental groups told a press briefing in Seoul.
 
Taking part in the initiative are a handful of Korean environmental organizations, consisting of activists and academics, as well as major environmental and anti-nuclear groups based in Germany, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The civic groups demanded the Japanese government and Olympics organizers refrain from providing food produced near Fukushima and cancel games scheduled to be held in the city. They also urged the torch relay to be held in areas outside of Fukushima, which was hit by the nuclear disaster caused by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
 
They also claimed that if Japan seeks to misuse Olympic events for a political or commercial purpose, it would goes against the Olympic spirit.
 
The environmental groups said they plan to collect signatures through an online website and hold international conferences to raise awareness on the risks of radiation.
 
Some baseball and softball games are scheduled to take place at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, according to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games website.
 
It also shows that a 121-day torch relay will “commence on March 26, 2020, in Fukushima Prefecture and start its journey southwards” in an aim at “showcasing solidarity with the regions still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.” (Yonhap)

October 20, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

International Olympic Committee President confirms Japan’s food products are safe

Business is business, never mind people’s health….A question though, did Abe’s government paid an additional bribe for this declaration or was it included in the first bribe paid to get the Olympics to Tokyo as an all included package deal?
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IOC chief to confirm Japan’s food products are safe
 
September 24, 2019
New York – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach intends to assure participants of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics that Japanese food products are safe following the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.
He conveyed his intentions to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York after two international organizations announced last year that the products are adequately managed, the ministry said.
A joint team of the International Atomic Energy Association and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in June last year that inspections for radioactive substances and distribution management of food from Japan were adequate, according to the ministry.
Bach told Abe he would inform the participating countries of the 2020 games of this view, the ministry said.
This comes after South Korea announced last month that it would double the number of samples and frequency of inspections for radioactive substances on some processed foods and agricultural products from Japan.
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The move by the South Korean government marks a tightening of measures first implemented following a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggered by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Abe and Bach also agreed to jointly seek the adoption later this year of a U.N. resolution calling for a truce during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
It is customary for the United Nations to adopt a truce resolution before the summer and winter games and Tokyo has been leading preparations for a new one as host of the upcoming sporting events.
Bach was quoted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry as telling Abe that he will work with Tokyo to have the resolution co-sponsored by as many countries as possible.
Abe and Bach also reaffirmed they will continue to work closely together to make the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a success, the ministry said.
The Japanese leader also met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II over dinner and expressed Tokyo’s intention to help alleviate the country’s burden in accepting refugees from neighboring Syria. The two welcomed the strengthening of bilateral ties in security, economic and other areas, according to the ministry.
 
 
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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach
 
IOC chief to confirm Japan’s food products are safe after 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster
 
 
September 24, 2019
NEW YORK (Kyodo) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach intends to assure participants of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics that Japanese food products are safe following the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.
He conveyed his intentions to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York after two international organizations announced last year that the products are adequately managed, the ministry said.
A joint team of the International Atomic Energy Association and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in June last year that inspections for radioactive substances and distribution management of food from Japan were adequate, according to the ministry.
Bach told Abe he would inform the participating countries of the 2020 games of this view, the ministry said.
This comes after South Korea announced last month that it would double the number of samples and frequency of inspections for radioactive substances on some processed foods and agricultural products from Japan.
The move by the South Korean government marks a tightening of measures first implemented following a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggered by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

September 26, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive sushi: Japan-South Korea spat extends to Olympic cuisine

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A Tokyo Electric Power official wears radioactive protective gear at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2014.
August 23, 2019
TOKYO —  The specter of radioactive sushi on menus at the Tokyo Olympics is a new front in an increasingly vindictive spat between South Korea and Japan, two U.S. allies that can’t seem to get along.
With tensions between the neighbors the highest in decades, South Korea’s delegation to Japan’s 2020 Games raised concerns this week about radiation at Olympic venues near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and the risk that athletes might consume contaminated food.
The protest formed part of a three-pronged attack that suggested South Korea is using the tsunami-induced 2011 nuclear meltdown as another stick with which to poke Japan. The two sides’ dispute over trade and compensation for wartime forced labor escalated Thursday when Seoul scrapped a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact.
On Monday, South Korea said it summoned a Japanese diplomat to express concerns about the possibility that treated radioactive groundwater stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant might someday be released into the ocean — although Japan says the meeting came at its request. A day later, South Korea’s Olympics delegation raised worries about radiation at an international meeting with Tokyo Games organizers, while on Wednesday, Seoul’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would double the radiation testing of some Japanese food imports because of contamination fears. 
The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee has operated separate cafeterias for its athletes at past Olympics and is considering expanding that operation in Japan due to concerns about food safety, spokeswoman Lee Mi-jin said. 
In doing so, Seoul has struck at what it knows is a tender spot. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set great personal store in a successful Olympics and wants to use the Games as a symbol of hope and recovery after the Fukushima disaster.
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be held in Fukushima, the prefecture’s capital city. The Olympic torch relay will start from there, too.
 
Japan’s government says the fears are groundless, with Foreign Minister Taro Kono saying he had “thoroughly explained” the safety of Japanese foods based on scientific evidence when he met his counterparts from South Korea and China on Wednesday.
Radiation levels in Fukushima city are comparable with safe readings in Hong Kong and Seoul, while Tokyo’s readings are even lower, in line with Paris and London, government data shows. Food from the region is tested intensively for safety.
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Seafood sits in buckets for radiation testing at a lab attached to a fish market in Iwaki, Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, in January.
 
The radiation cloud generated by explosions at the Fukushima reactors spread over thousands of square miles of northern Japan, causing 165,000 people to flee their homes. But officials have been engaged in a massive cleanup since, removing or treating swaths of topsoil to remove radioactive cesium and prevent it from entering vegetation.
Tokyo has stringent limits on the amount of cesium allowed in food, setting a maximum of just one-twelfth the levels permitted in the United States or the European Union. Agriculture and fish testing centers in Fukushima prefecture have analyzed hundreds of thousands of food samples from the danger zone, as well as samples of every ocean catch.
With the exception of a handful of samples of wild mushrooms and freshwater fish, and one skate caught in the ocean in January, none of the samples has exceeded radiation limits in the past three years, officials say. 
Although exports of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products from Fukushima have recovered beyond pre-disaster levels, at least 24 countries and territories ban some produce from Fukushima, while Taiwan, South Korea and China maintain a total ban on food from the prefecture.
In April, South Korea won the bulk of an appeal at the World Trade Organization supporting its right to ban and test seafood from Japan, although the judgment was based on WTO rules rather than the levels of contaminants in Japanese food or what the right level of consumer protection should be.
In justifying its move to step up testing, Seoul’s food ministry said trace amounts of radiation were detected in around 20 tons out of more than 200,000 tons of total food imports from Japan over the past five years, although its statement noted levels below even Japan’s strict limit of 100 becquerels a kilogram.
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People shop for fresh seafood at a market in Kanazawa, Japan, in January 2016.
 
South Korea’s qualms about contaminated food at the Olympics fell on deaf ears, according to Japanese media reports, with the organizers saying thorough inspections of Olympic sites had already been carried out and other countries failing to support South Korea’s position.
That’s not to say there are no grounds for concern about a million tons of treated radioactive groundwater stored at the nuclear power plant, environmental groups say.
This month, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, said the tanks at the site would be full by the summer of 2022, as fresh groundwater continues to seep in and become contaminated.
That announcement raised concerns that Tepco may push ahead with a proposal to dilute the treated water and gradually release it into the ocean.
Although many scientists say it is safe to release properly treated water, public trust is low, with Tepco forced to acknowledge last year that the treatment system had so far failed to remove dangerous radioactive elements, including strontium-90.
Local fishermen also oppose releasing the water, arguing such a move would destroy public confidence in marine produce from Fukushima. Japan says no decision has been reached.
Ironically, rice from Fukushima was on the menu at a working lunch during the Group of 20 meeting in Japan in June attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. But Moon left before the rice was served, the presidential office in Seoul said Friday.
Min Joo Kim in Seoul and Akiko Kashiwagi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea concerned over food safety at Olympics with events slated for Fukushima

Talks to take place over food provision at Tokyo Games
Fukushima to host baseball and softball games next year
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The Fukushima Azuma baseball stadium will used during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
August 22, 2019
South Korea is considering making its own arrangements to feed its athletes at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns over the safety of food from Fukushima, media reports said.
In addition, South Korean sports authorities have requested that international groups be permitted to monitor radiation levels during the 2020 Games.
Food safety concerns in South Korea have grown since Fukushima city was chosen to host six softball games and one baseball game next summer. Fukushima prefecture will also be the location for the start of the domestic leg of the Olympic torch relay, beginning next March.
Tokyo Olympics organisers said South Korea’s National Olympic Committee had sent a letter expressing concern at the possibility of produce grown in Fukushima prefecture being served to athletes in the Olympic village.
“Nothing is more important than safety. We will seek consultations with the International Olympic Committee and others to secure our athletes’ safety and ensure that the Tokyo Olympics will be held in a safe environment,” the South Korean sports minister, Park Yang-woo, said this week, according to Yonhap news agency.
Seoul’s concerns come amid an escalating dispute with Tokyo over South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate Koreans who were forced to work in Japanese factories and mines before and during the second world war, when the Korean peninsula was a Japanese colony.
The dispute has affected trade and cultural exchanges, while figures released this week show that the number of South Korean tourists visiting Japan fell by 7.6% year on year last month – its lowest level for almost a year – according to the Japan National Tourism Organisation.
Bloomberg reported that the Korea Sport and Olympic Committee is to request international organisations such as Greenpeace be allowed to monitor radiation levels at Olympic venues.
Committee officials have also drawn up plans to open a separate cafeteria exclusively for South Korean athletes to ensure that they are not served food from the region affected by radioactive fallout from the March 2011 meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The official threshold for radioactive substances in food from Fukushima is much lower than those in other parts of the world, including the European Union and the US.
All food items produced in Fukushima undergo repeated inspections to ensure their safety, according to the prefectural government.
“We are only shipping primary products which are certified to be safe through multiple inspections in each stage with cooperation among municipal and prefectural government, production areas, producers, distributors and retailers,” it says on its website.
Data from the NGO monitoring group Safecast shows that atmospheric radiation levels in Tokyo are lower than those in many other cities.
On Thursday morning, Safecast data showed levels in the Roppongi district of Tokyo stood at 0.084 microsieverts per hour, compared with 0.116 in Suwon, south of Seoul. In Fukushima city, located 45 miles west of the stricken nuclear power plant, atmospheric radiation was recorded at 0.100 microsieverts per hour.
The global average of naturally occurring background radiation is 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour, according to the pro-nuclear lobby group the World Nuclear Association.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea express concern about food from Fukushima as Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar begins

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August 20, 2019

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has written to Tokyo 2020 organisers to express concern about food from Fukushima being served at the Games.

Organisers confirmed to Reuters that a letter on the issue had been sent on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar.

Fukushima was struck by one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit Japan in 2011, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Around 16,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Both Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been keen to promote the Games as a tool which could help with the region’s recovery.

Baseball and softball matches will be staged there and Fukushima prefecture will also host the start of the Japanese leg of the Torch Relay.

Produce from Fukushima has been served at official events, including IOC Coordination Commissions, but the KSOC said they are worried about contamination.

Their letter comes at a period of increasing tension between Japan and South Korea.

“Within our planning framework we will respond to them accordingly,” said Toru Kobayash, Tokyo 2020’s director of NOC services, to Reuters.

“We have said that we will respond to them properly. 

“We have had no further questions [from South Korea].”

A trade war has developed between the two countries with South Korea also angry about reported Japanese plans to dump “toxic” water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

Some voices have even called for a Korean boycott of the Games with the nations further clashing over the appearance of disputed islands on an official Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay map.

The map on the official website includes the Liancourt Rocks, which are governed by South Korea but claimed by Japan.

South Korea calls the islands Dokdo but in Japan they are known as Takeshima, and both countries claim historical ties.

They lie in the Sea of Japan in between the two countries and are valuable due to rich fishing waters and natural gas deposits.

Elsewhere, concerns over sweltering conditions were discussed on day one of the Seminar at the Hotel New Otani.

Rising heat has developed into a major concern before Tokyo 2020 with more than 50 deaths in July as temperatures in Japan approached 40 degrees celsius.

Athletes have also struggled in the weather at the test events, including rowers suffering heatstroke at the World Junior Championships at the Sea Forest Waterway.

The triathlon event was shortened because of the humid conditions while cooling measures were tested at the beach volleyball.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to open on July 24 next year.

Among the measures being considered to combat the problem is allowing fans to bring their own bottled water into venues under certain conditions, which had previously been banned at past editions of the Olympic Games due to security and sponsorship reasons.

Misting sprays, air-conditioned tents and special road coatings are other plans put forward by organisers, as well as moving some events to earlier in the day. 

Dutch Chef de Mission Pieter van den Hoogenband, who faced the media on behalf of attending National Olympic Committees (NOCs), said he was impressed with how organisers were handling the issue.

“Of course we know there are some heat issues but overall, for all the different teams, these are the circumstances and we have to deal with it,” the triple Olympic champion said to Reuters.

“Top athletes know that they have to perform in any circumstances.

“Because of the test events, we get a lot of information and a lot of data and the way the Organising Committee is taking all that data to make it even more perfect…

“I was impressed with the way they handled things.”

Organisers have also pledged to install triple-layer screens in Tokyo Bay to combat bacteria in the water.

It comes after the discovery of E.coli which forced the cancellation of the swimming leg at the Paratriathlon test event.

The three-day Seminar continues tomorrow with every NOC invited to attend.

Representatives from the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees are also present.

A full progress update has been promised as well as a venue tour. 

https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1083697/fukushima-food-tokyo-2020

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Controversy over radiation and heat surrounding Tokyo Olympics

156577137108_20190815.JPGAnti-nuclear demonstrators concerned about radiation during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics hold a press conference to criticize the Abe administration’s effort to push through the Olympics despite safety concerns in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Aug. 13.

 

 

Aug.14,2019

Sports are sports. They are separate from politics.”

On Aug. 13, an official from the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee expressed concern in response to remarks in political circles that hinted at a boycott of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (July 24 – August 9). With participation rights still to be earned in many disciplines and numerous athletes who have eagerly awaited the Olympics for four years, these remarks are looking too far ahead. It has been pointed out that a more strategic approach needs to be adopted in light of the position of North and South Korea, who are considering making a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics.

Safety from radiation and heat at the Tokyo Olympics

Most of the issues related to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which are now only a year away, boil down to safety concerns over radiation and extreme heat. Some baseball and softball matches are scheduled to be held in a stadium located close to the Fukushima nuclear reactor that took direct damage during the 2011 earthquake. Korean civic groups have also pointed out that the Japanese government has failed to properly control water contaminated by radiation from the reactor. Plans to source some of the rice and ingredients for the Tokyo Olympics Athletes Village from Fukushima are adding to these concerns. Although the level of radiation measured in such rice is within the acceptable standards in Japan, it is believed to exceed Korean standards.

Extreme heat is another potential issue. After an open water test competition in Odaiba Seaside Park, Tokyo, on Aug. 11, Sports Nippon reported, “Many athletes complained about a foul odor and the high water temperature, and one male athlete made the shocking claim that it ‘smelled like a toilet.’” Although the Olympic Committee did not reveal the water temperature on that day, it has been reported that the temperature was 29.9 degrees Celsius at 5am. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) cancels events if the water temperature reaches 31 degrees Celsius. There have also been warnings about road races. On August 8, Yusuke Suzuki, Japan’s star race-walker and world record holder in the men’s 20km, stated, “I tried training on the Tokyo Olympics race-walking course. There was no shade, so it could cause dehydration.”

Tokyo Olympics delegation heads meeting from Aug. 20-22

It appears that the issue of safety from radiation and concerns about food ingredients will be conveyed during the upcoming three-day meeting with the leaders of each country’s delegation in Tokyo on Aug. 20-22, and a request will be made to the Japanese Olympic Committee to change the name of Dokdo used on maps. If the representatives from each country do raise the radiation issue, the IOC will have no choice but to intervene. The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee is also considering providing separate Korean food to Korean athletes through specially prepared meals or lunchboxes.

With Korea seeking to hold a joint Olympics in 2032 between the two Koreas, the country has no choice but to underscore the fact that the Olympics are a festival of peace. Korea is also mindful of the fact that it must avoid giving off any impression of trying to use the Olympics for political reasons.

Getting over our obsession with medals

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics come at a time when Korea is attempting to implement reforms through policies in order to shake off the country’s obsession with winning in elite sports. Plans to reform the special benefits afforded to athletes such as pensions and exemption from military service are already under discussion, and it is also true that the morale of elite athletes is different than it has been in the past. It has been pointed out that while achieving victory in competition is great, excessive competition for medals does not align with current trends. Ryu Tae-ho, a professor of physical education at Korea University, stated, “It is natural that athletes will work hard to reach the pinnacle on the international stage, and the Korean public has become more mature to the extent that we can applaud athletes when they do their best as Olympians, even if they fail to win a medal. It is also best to avoid connecting sports with politics.”

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/905758.html

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Swim marathon: Tokyo 2020, FINA watching water quality, temperature

In 2011, Professor Kodama of Tokyo University  had found Tokyo’s Bay water to be  radiation contaminated. 8 years later I doubt that the only danger in that water is high levels of e-coli bacteria…
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August 11, 2019
Athletes voiced concerns over water quality and temperature at a marathon swimming test event for Tokyo 2020 Sunday, as officials vowed to monitor the situation closely in the run-up to the games.
“That was the warmest race I’ve ever done,” said three-time Olympic medallist Oussama Mellouli from Tunisia after completing the 5km men’s competition.
“It felt good for the first 2km then I got super overheated,” added the 35-year-old, who won gold in the 10km swim at the London Olympics in 2012.
The event started at 7am with the air temperature already over 30 degrees as the Japanese capital swelters through a deadly heatwave.
“The water temperature was high so I’m a bit concerned about that,” said Yumi Kida from Japan, who said she guzzled iced water before the race in an effort to reduce her body heat.
International Swimming Federation (FINA) rules state that athletes may not race when the water temperature exceeds 31 degrees and FINA’s executive director Cornel Marculescu said competitors’ wellbeing was top priority.
Marculescu said an external body would be set up in conjunction with Tokyo 2020 organisers to monitor both water quality and temperature in the run-up to the games and the results could affect the timing of the marathon swimming event.
“Based on this information, we will decide the time the event will start. Could be 5am, could be 5:30am, can be 6am, can be 6:30am — depends on the water temperature,” he told reporters.
“Working with a specialised company like we are going to do here in Tokyo, we will have the right information to take the right decision.”
Hot weather issues have become the biggest headache for Tokyo organisers, who have already moved up the start time of several events including the marathon in a bid to mitigate the effects of the blistering heat of the Japanese summer.
– ‘A little stinky’ –
In terms of water quality, David Gerrard from FINA’s medical committee said readings from the test event would not be ready for 48 hours but previous results gave cause for optimism.
“What we have had are readings fom the last month, daily readings that have given us very clear indications of the water quality, which has been good,” he said.
Organisers are desperate to avoid the embarrassment of the Rio Olympics in 2016 when the pool used for diving events turned an unsettling shade of green overnight.
Brazilian officials also had to scramble to clean up the bay used for sailing and windsurfing that was plagued by sewer bacteria and filthy with rubbish.
In October 2017, Tokyo 2020 organisers were left red-faced after tests revealed levels of e-coli bacteria more than 20 times higher than international standards, sparking doubts about the venue’s safety.
At the time, the organising committee blamed prolonged summer rain that had brought pollutants from offshore for the high readings between late July and early September.
A year later, organisers said that tests using underwater “screens” to filter the water had successfully reduced bacteria levels at the venue, which will also host triathlon.
They tested single and triple-layer screens — some 20 metres (66 feet) long and three metres wide — and found that both were effective in bringing bacteria down to safe levels although the triple screen, expected to be employed during games time, worked best.
Japanese swimmer Kida said the water was “a little stinky, and the clarity was not very good so I really want to improve the quality.”
The event will be held in Odaiba, a Tokyo bay area with a backdrop of the city and the “Rainbow Bridge” that links the area to downtown.
On clear days Mount Fuji is visible and the area is also noteworthy for a replica Statue of Liberty.

August 12, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s govt urges Fukushima evacuees to return – in drive to promote 2020 Olympics

Fukushima: Despite health threats, the Japanese government urges residents to return. Families who fled nuclear meltdown in Fukushima are being urged to return to their homes ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
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Families claim the government is speeding up return ahead of Olympics
Aug 4, 2019
Alarming levels of radiation up to 20 times higher than official safety targets have been recorded in areas where locals are being encouraged to go back. We found ghost towns eight years after three reactors went into meltdown at Daiichi power plant 140 miles north east of Tokyo in March 2011. Tokyo 2020 is being hailed as the “Reconstruction Olympics” signalling new hope following the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster and left more than 18,000 people dead. 
Now evacuees are being urged to return as the global spotlight focuses on the recovery of the region. The government has lifted most evacuation orders and all but a handful of hot spots have been declared safe. 
But parents believe their children are in danger, saying officials are downplaying the dangers and safety is compromised in a cynical attempt to convince the world the crisis is over. 
Families have accused the government of speeding up their return to showcase safety standards ahead of the Olympics. 
We found once-vibrant communities now post apocalyptic wastelands like something from a Hollywood movie after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. 
Schools, shopping malls, supermarkets, libraries and petrol stations lie decaying along with thousands of homes. Many are set behind guarded barricades in exclusion areas known officially as “difficult to return to zones”. 
Others lie in areas which the government says are safe to live in but whose few residents – wild boar and monkeys – demonstrate signs of mutation. Along roadsides sit giant black bags containing contaminated soil. 
In Tomioka, five miles from the power plant, a school sports hall is scattered with footballs left when children fled. 
It’s in stark contrast to arenas being built for the £20billion Games. Fukushima is hosting the first event, a softball match on July 22, two days before the opening ceremony. 
The Japanese leg of the torch relay starts on March 26 at a soccer training centre 12 miles south of the crippled plant. The J Village, a base for emergency workers, only fully reopened last month. 
In Okuma our Geiger counter sounded furiously, recording four microsieverts an hour. The government safety target is 0.23 microsieverts per hour. 
It came days after evacuation orders were lifted for parts of the town which had 10,000 residents. The centre remains a no-go zone and just 367 former residents have registered to go back. 
Ayako Oga, 46, who suffered a miscarriage, says: “The Olympics are putting lives in danger. The government is forcing people to leave the public homes they have been in. They are putting a heavy burden on people still suffering mentally and financially.” 
In Namie, which had 21,000 residents, evacuation orders were lifted in 2017. It is said 800 people returned but we found desolation, only traffic lights working. 
The Wild Boar bar last served a drink on disaster day. Owner Sumio Konno, in a group legal action against the government, says his son, who was five, still suffers nosebleeds. “He is sick all the time,” he says. “Every month he needs to go to the doctor.” 
Ryohei Kataoka, of the Citizens Nuclear Information Centre, says: “The government’s insistence in lifting evacuation orders where heightened radiation-related health risks undeniably exist, is a campaign to show that Fukushima is ‘back to normal’ and to try to make Japan and the world forget the accident ever happened.” 

August 12, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima 2020 Olympics Nightmare: Is PM Abe Criminally Insane?

 

Jul 28th, 2019
This documentary investigates and exposes the plans of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring the Olympics baseball games to contaminated Fukushima. Although there is over a million tons of tritium radioactive water in tanks surrounding the plan, thousands of contamined bags of waste and melted nuclear rods still in the broken plants Abe has claimed to the Olympic Committee and world that Fukushima has been decontaminated.
This 2019 documentary looks at the plans of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring the Olympic baseball games to Fukushima during the 2020 Japan Olympic games. It interviews experts, community activists and trade unionists about the reality of Fukushima and the massive propaganda campaign to cover-up the continuing dangers and crisis.
 
PM Abe told the International Olympics Committee that Fukushima had been decontaminated but there is over 1 million tons of tritium radiocative water in tanks surrounding the broken nuclear reactors, the melted nuclear rods still remain and there are tens of thousands of bags of contaminated radioactive material spread throughout the prefecture.
 
This documentary hears from people in Japan about the reality of having the 2020 Olympics in Japan and Fukushima.
 
Additional media:
 
Toxic water level at Fukushima plant still not under control As Abe Pushes Olympics In Fukushima
In reality, however, the situation is not under control even now.
 
The Olympics, Fukushima, Capitalism & Creative Destruction
 
Olympics For Whom? Global Depression, the New Cold War, ​and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games
 
The Super Bowl, NFL, Capitalism and Sports: The Cost, The Politics, Privatization & The Game
JPN Abe Gov Pushes 2020 Olympics To Contaminated Fukushima To Continue Cover-up
 
Fukushima Never Again
 
For additional information:
No Nukes Action
Appeal To Stop Olympics in Japan
Nuclear Olympics
WorkWeek
workweek [at] kpfa.org
Production of
Labor Video Project
 
Fukushima Radioactive Dump Site
While PM Abe says that Fukushima has been “decontaminated” there are thousands of bags of contaminated radioactive was in the prefecture of Fukushima.
 
Over 1 Million Tons Of Radioactive Water Surround Fukushima
The Abe government is trying to release 1 million tons of radioactive water with tritium into the Pacific ocean despite opposition of the fisherman and communities.
 
Fukushima Kids In

July 31, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Fukushima Safe for the Olympics?

A recent visit suggests that the repercussions of the 2011 nuclear disaster aren’t over.
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The New National Stadium at sunset, Tokyo
July 25, 2019
The 2020 Olympic torch relay will commence in Fukushima: a place more often associated with a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster than international sports. That’s no accident: the location is meant to convey a narrative of recovery, and the idea that Fukushima is a safe place to visit, live–and of course, do business. Olympic baseball and softball games, also to be held in Fukushima just 55 miles from the meltdown, are meant to hammer the message of these “Recovery Olympics,” as Tokyo 2020 organizers have branded them, home
But after a visit to Fukushima, their claims seem questionable at best. In fact, the entire setup is a profoundly cynical act of “post-truth” politics. Fukushima is not yet safe, and no amount of sunny rhetoric from Olympic bigwigs as well as Japanese politicians, can make it so.
We traveled to Fukushima on a bus full of journalists, filmmakers, and activists from around the world. We were accompanied by professor Fujita Yasumoto who carried a dosimeter, a device that charts the levels of radiation. With two hours to drive before hitting Fukushima, his dosimeter read 0.04; anything above 0.23, he told us, was unsafe. The needle jumped further as we approached the nuclear plants and attendant cleanup operations. Outside the Decommissioning Archive Center, it moved into unsafe territory with a 0.46 reading before spiking to a truly alarming 3.77 as we approached Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor, one of three that melted down. The Olympic torch run is currently scheduled to pass through some of these high-contamination areas.
As we entered Fukushima, we started to see what looked like black Hefty garbage bags, filled with radioactive topsoil that had been scraped up by workers, most of whom, we are told, travel great distances to Fukushima to work. Thousands of these bags—which locals call “black pyramids”—are piled on top of one another, but the toiling workers aren’t wearing hazmat suits. Some of the piles of bags have vegetation popping out. The sight of the plants poking through the toxic muck could be taken as a sign of hope, but, for others, they’re a portent of danger, raising fears that the wind will blow the most contaminated parts of the topsoil into the less radiated parts of the city.
No one here we met is buying Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s line from 2013 when he tried to assuage the concerns of voters at the International Olympic Committee by telling them that things in Fukushima were “under control.” Hiroko Aihara, an independent journalist based in Fukushima, said to us, “The government has pushed propaganda over truth. This has people in Japan divided as to how serious it is. But for the people who live here, the crisis and the cleanup and contamination continue.”
The scientific studies about how safe Fukishima are at the moment are in great dispute. National travel guides put the area that is unsafe at only 3 percent of the prefecture. However, as Scientific American wrote, “In its haste to address the emergency, two months after the accident the Japanese government raised the allowable exposure from 1 mSv annually, an international benchmark, to 20 mSv. Evacuees now fear Abe’s determination to put the Daiichi accident behind the nation is jeopardizing public health, especially among children, who are more susceptible.”
We also spoke with Masumi Kowata. She is a remarkable individual, and the only woman on the 12-person Okuma Town municipal council in Fukushima. She is also the only person on the council who is speaking out on the dangers of nuclear power. Kawata was living in Fukushima when Abe made his grand pronouncement. She said, “Things were absolutely not ‘under control’ and nothing is over yet. The nuclear radiation is still very high. Only one small section is being cleaned. The wider region is still an evacuation zone. There is still radiation in the area. Meanwhile, we’re [hosting] the Olympics.”
The cynicism of branding this “the Recovery Olympics” can also be seen in the streets of Fukushima. Numerous people are still displaced and living outside the prefecture; they’re in the tens of thousands, although the exact total has not been determined. Whatever the number, there is no question that the part of the prefecture surrounding the nuclear meltdown feels empty. In a country with a remarkable lack of dilapidated buildings, they conspicuously blot the landscape in Fukushima. What was destroyed by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown hasn’t been rebuilt. Many businesses also have been “abandoned by owner,” an all-purpose explanation for the state of things. Both homes and businesses—with the crumbling signs for the titans of Japanese corporate culture—Sony, Mitsubishi and Honda—sit vacant.
Despite this bleak scene, Kowata somehow brims with fighting energy. “The local people have come to me and told me to tell the world what is actually happening,” she said. “That’s where I get my strength. There are people getting sick. There are people who are dying from stress. The world needs to know.”

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Opponents want Olympic money used to rebuild Fukushima

What sense does it make to rebuild Fukushima if it means to condamn the people to live with radiation, radiation which ain’t gonna be decontaminated by any means but is there to stay.…
To not forget that the first step of the Japanese government deceitful campaign was DECONTAMINATION, to fool the people to believe that their place could be decontaminated so that they could go back to their life of the pre-nuclear disaster.
The second part of the Japanese government deceitful campaign was RECONSTRUCTION, that people need to help to reconstruct the Fukushima economy, to clean the name of Fukushima prefecture in the mind of the Japanese public and of the foreign public, to push and sell the local contaminated produce under the pretense that low level of contamination is safe and acceptable, that to buy and consume Fukushima is every Japanese citizen’s patriotic duty, solidarity, to help rebuild the Fukushima prefecture’s economy.
DECONTAMINATION and RECONSTRUCTION are both parts of the same deceitful campaign, a campaign denying the realaity of the omnipresent radiation’s health risks, soothing the people’s fears with lies and denial, to make them to accept and to stay living with high level of radiation in a fully contaminated environment. The Japanese government’s priority being the economics and not its people safety and health.
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Anti-Olympic advocates, including those from the United States and France, gather in Tokyo on July 23.
July 24, 2019
A group of Japanese and foreigners who oppose the Tokyo Olympics said they want to block the holding of the sporting extravaganza they see as wasteful and destructive.
In a news conference in Tokyo on July 23, the opponents, including scholars, said that the Olympics will destroy the local economy and be a hotbed for corruption.
The opponents included Jules Boykoff, professor of political science at Pacific University, Oregon, who was formerly on the U.S. Olympic soccer team.
On July 22, they visited Fukushima Prefecture, hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident.
Based on the inspection, they said that the Japanese government should use money for reconstruction efforts rather than the Olympics.
The opponents also included Misako Ichimura, 48, a member of “Hangorin no Kai” (Anti-Olympics group).
She said that homeless people were evicted for the construction of the new National Stadium and that people living in Tokyo metropolitan government-run apartments were forced to vacate them.
Ichimura raised an “anti-Olympic torch” that had been passed down by people campaigning against the Olympics.
“We want to terminate the Olympics,” she said.
A woman from Los Angeles, which will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, said the Olympics benefit a small number of major companies that receive money that should be used to support the homeless.
South Korean Park Eun-seon, who was watching the news conference, said that after the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the business environment for local restaurants and hotels there deteriorated.
“I want Japanese to share our experiences. I want them not to repeat the same mistakes,” she said.
Hangorin no Kai plans to hold a demonstration with others in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on July 24 as part of its international events to oppose the Olympics.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics are showing the nightmare waiting for L.A. in 2028

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July 23, 2019
TOKYO — Something unprecedented is happening this week in Japan. Activists from around the world are convening for the first-ever transnational anti-Olympics summit. Tokyo protest groups have teamed up with those from recent host cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Pyeongchang, South Korea, and future hosts, including Los Angeles. The summit coincides with the one-year mark before the Tokyo Summer Olympics open on July 24, 2020.
These days, anti-Games campaigns pop up like activist jack-in-the-boxes. Los Angeles wouldn’t have become a U.S. candidate city (and upcoming host) were it not for anti-Games activists who forced Boston’s mayor to back out of that city’s 2024 host contract. Three other bids (Hamburg, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; and Rome) for the 2024 Games were also scuppered after persistent local protests. Feeling the pinch, the International Olympic Committee doled out two Olympics simultaneously, to Paris for 2024, and Los Angeles for 2028.
A handful of negative effects inevitably follow the Games and account for the rise of anti-Olympic activism: overspending, militarization of police, citizen displacement, greenwashing and corruption. Rio de Janeiro, Sochi and even Beijing, with its now derelict venues, are all prime examples of the Games’ grotesque downsides.
The Tokyo Olympics, sold as the most “innovative” ever, are already replicating the usual problems. Start with costs: The original price tag of the 2020 Games, $7.3 billion, has more than tripled.
Tokyo organizers have branded the Games the “recovery Olympics,” in a nod to the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and resulting Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown. Survivors and hard-hit communities are still struggling to rebuild. That reality, says Satoko Itani, a professor of sport, gender and sexuality studies at Kansai University, makes the recovery tagline “ironic” at best. “This Olympics,” Itani said, “is literally taking the money, workers, and cranes away from the areas where they are needed most.”
The Games have also sent thousands into the streets in Japan to protest threats to their civil liberties. In 2017, Japanese legislators rammed anti-terrorism legislation through the parliament, justified by the need to protect the Olympics. The legislation added hundreds of new crimes to the books, including offenses such as sit-ins to oppose the construction of new apartment buildings. The U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy said Japan’s government had used fear to push through “defective” legislation.
As if to underline privacy concerns, at every Tokyo Olympic venue, visitors will be subjected to facial recognition systems. This despite the concerns that facial recognition software peddles racial bias. Its acceptance at the Games nudges Japan down a surveillance-state slippery slope.
The Olympics are notorious for displacing everyday residents and Tokyo is no exception. We interviewed a woman in her 60s here who was displaced by the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and has been displaced again for the 2020 Games. She wouldn’t speak on the record because she fears retribution, and although it won’t undo what has happened to her, she has joined the opposition. “In order to challenge the Olympics the community has to unite and fight,” she told us.
 
As to greenwashing, the Tokyo Games will showcase Fukushima prefecture, where the torch relay will begin and where baseball and softball games will be played. “It’s fine for athletes and spectators to go to Fukushima for a couple of days,” said Aileen Mioko-Smith with Green Action Japan when the venues were announced. “But the Japanese government is using [the Olympics] to claim that everything is back to normal and that the evacuees should go … home.” The government has also increased what it considers to be acceptable radiation levels from 1 millisievert a year to 20, which it claims presents a far lower cancer rate than smoking or obesity.
The final factor that accompanies most Olympic Games is corruption. (Remember Salt Lake City?) Allegations have already surfaced in Tokyo. Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda resigned in March after being included in an ongoing bribery investigation related to securing the 2020 Games. Takeda, who also resigned from the IOC, maintains his innocence. French authorities are looking into $2 million paid by the Tokyo committee to a Singapore-based company implicated in international athletics graft.
City by city, recent Olympics have proved to be plagued by a democracy deficit. Politicians, developers and construction magnates hype bids for the Games with little or no citizen input. And yet the impact on a city of hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors, athletes, media and officials has long-lasting implications for the residents. Even the IOC appears to understand the need for reform. Responding to IOC President Thomas Bach’s concern that the Olympic bidding process creates “too many losers,” the IOC suggested last month that future bidders be asked to hold a referendum before being considered.
Fifteen anti-Games activists from Los Angeles are among those participating in the summit this week (the biggest contingent of any from outside Japan). They have to hope a new referendum rule will crack open the question of whether Angelenos can still stop the 2028 Games. The city’s Olympic Committee, and its cheerleader Mayor Eric Garcetti, brush off recent history when they swat at criticism of their “winning” bid. If voters had a chance to weigh in, would they do the same?

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Anti-Olympics groups want more attention put on event’s downfalls

July 23, 2019
Anti-Olympics groups on Tuesday called for the end to the quadrennial international sports event, highlighting the situation surrounding Japan’s disaster-struck Fukushima and its connection to the games, as well as the overall displacement of residents within host cities.
With only a year left before the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, members of the group, speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, argued the games were detrimental to those who were the most vulnerable, and the influx of money has not been used in places where it is necessary.
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(Misako Ichimura)
The press conference was held by former professional athlete and academic Jules Boykoff, Misako Ichimura, a member of an anti-Tokyo Olympics group and Anne Orchier, a member of a group opposing the 2028 Los Angeles games.
Ichimura, of Hangorin no kai NoOlympics 2020, emphasized the negative impact the upcoming Olympics has had on residents, including how about 230 households were told in 2012 to move out of their homes after authorities decided to tear down the Toei Kasumigaoka apartment bloc in central Tokyo, to make way for a new stadium.
She also touched on the plight of people in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.
“The Tokyo Olympics are trying to demonstrate that the ongoing issues in Fukushima have already been resolved, but those affected by the disasters are still suffering,” she said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.
Boykoff, who traveled to the prefecture on Monday and met with local officials, agreed with Ichimura’s sentiments, calling the visit “one of the most intense experiences of my life.”
Boykoff said he learned from a local politician during his trip that reconstruction efforts have been slow and nuclear radiation levels in some areas in the northeastern region remain high.
“To return to Tokyo afterward and see all the money plunged into the Olympics while people still suffer in Fukushima was mind-blowing for me,” he said.
Ichimura also mentioned how dangerous the extreme heat, commonly associated with summers in Tokyo, has been on laborers and likely will be on athletes during the games.
“Three construction workers have already passed away on-site, and there have been a series of accidents as well as cases of heatstroke,” she said. “Tokyo summers will pose a serious health risk to many people if the Olympics are held in such extreme conditions.”
Weather-related concerns have been mounting, especially after a record-breaking heatwave hit Japan’s capital last summer, with an area near Tokyo seeing the temperature soar to 41.1 C.
Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will begin in a year, Ichimura has vowed to continue the fight against the status quo.
“We will not stay quiet as long as (the Olympics) continue to be held throughout the world, whether that is a year before (the event), a day before, or even after it’s begun,” she said.
Individuals against the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics have also rallied in support, citing the U.S. city’s growing homeless population.
Homelessness rose 16 percent in 2018 in Los Angeles, with at least 60,000 people being without a home on any given night, according to Orchier, an organizing member of NoOlympics LA.
“They are not bulldozing mansions to build luxury hotels or stadiums, they’re going after the most vulnerable,” she said, echoing Ichimura’s plea.
Furthermore, a study conducted by her group showed that while 45 percent of the city’s residents were opposed to the 2028 Olympics, 51 percent were moderately or extremely concerned about the impact it would have on homelessness.
“Serious grievances churn beneath the surface of the Olympics, and they absolutely deserve our collective attention,” Boykoff said.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

The 2020 Olympics Are Likely to Be a Disaster

After spending a day with Tokyo’s anti-Olympics organizers, it was clear why they are angry about the 2020 Olympics—and that they are ready to fight.
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Members of the group Okotowari Olympics 2020 protest outside the Japan Sport Olympic Square.
July 22, 2019
By Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff
At first glance, this must appear to be the politest anti-Olympics movement imaginable. The group fighting against the games is known as Okotowari Olympics 2020, or No Thanks Olympics 2020. However, after spending a day among them, it is clear that the honchos in the Japanese Olympic Committee should be worried. These organizers are feisty, whip-smart, and their goal is nothing short of preventing next year’s Olympics from landing in Tokyo. Their concerns are based on the recent history of what happens to a city after the Olympics descend: debt, displacement, and hyper-militarization. For them, it is also a question of priorities.
In the words of one organizer, Tomiko, “People are still suffering from [the earthquake and Fukushima nuclear meltdown of] 2011. The government needs to spend money to help those still suffering, not on the Olympics.”
This group of activists and agitators spent the day taking a disparate group of three dozen people—many from past or future Olympic cities—on a tour of Olympic building projects already underway. By the time they were finished, it was very clear why they were protesting.
Akio Yoshida, who, like several of the Okotowari organizers, cut her teeth doing work in solidarity with Tokyo’s large homeless population, said, “The displacement already happening will just move more people from their homes. All Olympics discriminate. Some people are prioritized. Others are disregarded.” After touring future Olympic sites, we could all see who the winners will be: well-connected developers, construction magnates, and security barons. Meanwhile, the working poor and houseless will be left out.
We saw a body of water slated for open-water swimming, with bacteria levels dangerous to the human touch. We saw a baseball stadium, the home of the famed Yakult Swallows, that will be demolished, only to be rebuilt a block away to meet the specifications of the Olympics. We saw public spaces such as a youth aquatic center that will be shut down to make way for Olympic sports, while young people will have to spend next summer with their noses pressed against the glass. We saw a beautifully designed, massive public stadium that was built only for volleyball and will be handed over after the Olympics to a private business concern. The stadium cost $300,000,000.
Around Tokyo, we saw public spaces clogged with construction that fenced out everyday people. One public area that was typically buzzing with baseball was off-limits, while bulldozers constructed an Olympic track venue. It’s deeply ironic that a traditional location for amateur athletes to train will be demolished for Olympic facilities. As one organizer said, “What is the point of the Olympics if they will actually serve to stifle amateur sports?”
Atsumi Masazumi, who lives in the neighborhood around the new National Stadium, told us, “The area I was proud of is being changed for the worse by the Olympics. It’s sneaky to use the Games to change the building codes. It’s horrible.” He stressed that he loves sports but doesn’t love what the Olympics are doing to his city.
We also traveled to the Odaiba Marine Park, the future location of Olympic swimming and the triathlon. But the beach was fenced off from the public. Signs pegged to posts around the perimeter of the area informed passersby that the beach would be closed from July 1 through September 6 in order to hold an Olympics-related event. Again, spaces meant for the public were being cordoned off because of the Olympics.
We saw all this while walking in a typical Tokyo summer’s stifling humidity, a reminder of the kind of temperatures that outdoor athletes will have to face next year.
We didn’t just walk and tour. In a quick-fire action at Japan Sport Olympic Square, the activists unfurled two banners reading “Olympics Kill the Poor” and “Reverse the 2020 Tokyo Olympics” and posed for a photo in front of the Olympic rings. Jittery security guards on the scene treated the two banners as if they were Molotov cocktails in the making, desperately shepherding activists away from the vicinity.
Satoko Itani, a professor of sport and gender studies at Kansai University, told us that the Olympics-induced state of exception we saw in motion all around us was “not only about the Olympics, but what happens afterwards.” It is the concern of “what happens afterwards” that activists will spend the next year fighting. This week is meant to kick off those actions, with symposiums, demonstrations, and rallies. If today is any indication, they will be organized in a way that everyone involved is crystal clear that the stakes for Tokyo could not be higher.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | 1 Comment

Fukushima local produce set to feature on Tokyo 2020 Games menus

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May 18, 2019
Dishes made for past Olympics using local Japanese ingredients are offered at Gran-Eat Ginza in Chuo Ward, Tokyo.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics offer a prime opportunity to showcase local Japanese food products to both domestic and international audiences.
Promotion councils have been set up at the prefectural level to supply locally produced fruits, vegetables and marine products to the Olympic Village and competition venues. Preparations are moving ahead, including the provision of support to acquire food safety certifications and compile lists of ingredients.
In March, for example, pig farmers in Izumizaki, Fukushima Prefecture, acquired Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, which guarantees food safety and other qualities.
GAP is administered in Japan by the Japan GAP Foundation — which was founded by agricultural producers and other entities — and prefectural governments, among other entities. The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is asking producers to acquire GAP certification so they can supply agricultural and livestock products to the Olympic Village and other venues. Similar certification is also required to supply marine products to venues.
The Fukushima prefectural government established a promotional council in July 2017 to enhance its reputation following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster. The prefecture has supported producers through such measures as covering the costs of inspections required to obtain certification.
Sixty-eight products, including peaches and lettuces, have already received certification.
“Supplying our produce for the Olympics is a chance to objectively prove both the delicious taste and safety of Fukushima Prefecture’s foods,” a prefectural official said.
Iwate Prefecture promotes its wakame seaweed, saury and Konjiki no Kaze brand rice, among other products. It has obtained certification for at least 35 products, and plans to hold food fairs targeting business operators so it can expand into its target markets even after the Games end.
Hokkaido has compiled a list that contains information on local producers and agricultural, livestock and marine products, and introduces 67 items on its website.
“We’re able to supply not only summer vegetables such as tomatoes and green peppers, but also produce for a wide range of uses,” a prefectural official said.
Mie Prefecture, famous for its Matsusaka beef and Ise tuna, has invited chefs from hotels in Tokyo and elsewhere, and promotes its products by holding tours of production areas and other events.
Last winter, the Shimane prefectural Izumo Norin agriculture and forestry high school in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, acquired certification for its grapes. Tsutomu Fujiwara, a teacher at the high school, explained that “if the grapes are used at the Olympics, the students will gain a sense of confidence and achievement.”
Japan is expected to provide 120,000 tons of food from 242 different products during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
“We should give priority to domestic products when making selections,” a member of the organizing committee said. The menu for the Olympic Village will be finalized as soon as this autumn, followed by selection of products to be sourced from various areas throughout Japan.
Meals from past and future
Some of the fare expected to be served at the Olympic Village and elsewhere during the Games can already be sampled.
At Gran-Eat Ginza, a restaurant that opened in Tokyo in March, certified products used to make dishes previously served at Olympic Villages can be enjoyed at the restaurant’s buffet.
The restaurant re-created a Brazilian soup served at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games using chicken from Gifu Prefecture, carrots from Chiba Prefecture and rice from Yamagata Prefecture.
A casserole dish served at the 2012 London Games is re-created using pork from Tategamori Ark Farm in Iwate Prefecture and apples from the Kakusho apple growers association in Aomori Prefecture.
Last summer, Gifu and Tokushima prefectures served dishes such as pasta and minced-meat cutlets using GAP-certified ingredients at prefectural government cafeterias.
The Yamagata prefectural government likewise offered “Chisan Chisho Bento” boxed lunches last autumn, promoting the concept of “locally produced and consumed.”

May 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment