Teachers' blog



(Contributed by Takashi)
So, how is our case of Tokyo 2020 Games faring against these general allegations of modern Olympics? From the conclusion, I think the Tokyo Games are no exception (By the way, is this bad? Answering to this question is not simple, meriting a lengthy comparison between the pros and cons).
Here is just one case in point that led me to this conclusion – the Abe administration has been so enthusiastic about the adoption of the extravagant main stadium design by Zaha Hadid despite serious concerns about the technical and budgetary implausibility raised by a score of experts against it as soon as the design was picked by the authority.
Why? I would to say (warning: highly speculative), the administration liked the touristic appeals of the radical design, which can represent the Japanese publicity campaign theme of “Cool Japan” (which, I think, must be a copycatting of Cool Britannia of the Blair administration – a decisively uncool thing to do). And, the more extravagant the building, the stronger its impression will be on the voters, who would be proud of the one-and-only-in-the-world stadium. Consequently, the current leader can leave a legacy, insinuating, “I built that stadium you are so proud of” in the years after the game finished.
I submit that the same motive is behind the adoption of Omotenashi to the Olympics promotion, for its concept, as mentioned in the above, jives well with the political leaders’ agenda for the games. That is, to sell Japanese tourism and project her positive image to the world. At the same time, it quenches the thirst for ego aggrandizement of the masses in the Japanese indirect way.
Contrary to this agenda, the candid opinions of the expats listed above wake us to the reality: the righteousness of this concept is highly self-centered. Instead, we need to be self-reflective. Or, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics might end up with an opportunity of impressing international visitors in the wrong way.

Copyright © 2014 NTT Learning Systems Corporation. All Rights Reserved.