International Olympic Committee, Tokyo, Olympics discussed on Democracy Now! Audio
In danger. Australia has been feverishly lobbying to avoid the label, which would have meant the site is at risk of losing its world. Heritage status. Extreme ocean temperatures due to the climate crisis of cause the reef to degrade including extensive Coral. Bleaching unesco's decision will be considered in 2022 and those are some of the headlines that says democracy. Now democracynow.org, The War and Peace report. I'm Amy Goodman. We Begin Today's Show in Tokyo, Japan. They were protesters had gathered outside the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics, the international Olympic Committee has pushed forward with holding the games during the pandemic. Despite widespread opposition in Japan polls show at least seventy percent of the population wanted the games cancelled or postponed as Cove Cases surge at least a hundred ten people linked to the games, have tested positive for kovats so far. The opening ceremony is being held in Tokyo's national Stadium, but the eight thousand seat Arena built for this purpose is largely empty. Fewer than 1,000. VIP guests have been invited to attend. Spectator may have also been barred from sporting events throughout the games. The 2020 Olympic games were originally scheduled to take place a year ago but were postponed due to them. And emack we go now directly to the protest, just outside Tokyo's national Stadium, where we're joined by satoko, itani associate professor of sports gender and sexuality at Kansai University. Attorney welcome back to democracy. Now, can you start by just setting the scene for us, describe where you are and what these protoss? Are about 6 a.m., and the bar. This is Connie. We're going to come back to you. We're having trouble hearing you because of the chance and the protest right behind you. So as you relocate yourself, we're going to go right now to Jules boycott. Author of four books on the Olympics off. Which played for the US Olympic soccer team from 1989 to 91 his latest piece for the nation with Dave. Zirin is headlined. The human cost of the pandemic, Olympics LA Times opinion, piece this week is headlined Tokyo's, Olympics, have turned nightmarish, L A, are you watching? So we'll talk about the future games in LA. But I mean, what's Happening Here is truly astounding Jewels. You have Japan itself even the leadership opposed including the prime minister to these Olympics and yet you have them now understand is this large multinational corporation the international Olympic Committee that actually can control what prime ministers and governments do and allowed happen. And they required that these Olympics continued even if the stadiums are empty That's exactly right. What we're witnessing right now. Play out in Tokyo is unparalleled in the political history of the Olympics and you're pointing the finger in the right direction. When we think about the international Olympic Committee, The Saga in Tokyo has exposed an international Olympic Committee. That openly disrespects the will of locals that brushes off inconvenient facts from experts like medical experts. Have long been saying these games are a terrible idea and the ioc tends to prioritize its profits over all else. Meanwhile the neat, the Olympics tend to sneak app democracy undercut democracy in ways that you described with the very prime minister essentially reduced to a contractual supplicant of the international Olympic Committee with no power to decide not to cancel or not. And you're seeing also that everything is very vulnerable to things like covid-19 and also I think climate change. So when the international Olympic Committee arrives in dog, The city. It's this pair of State type organization but we've seen time and time again. And now in Technicolor in Tokyo, is that it's also a parasite on the host City home. So explain all that has taken place. I mean, first of all, people might be surprised. These are even called Olympics 2020 when it's twenty Twenty-One thousand and all the skirmishes until this point. I mean this week, the head of the Tokyo Olympics committee, said at any moment, we can cancel these but in fact that's not true, right? That's correct. And Tokyo twenty-twenty has actually been a Cascade of calamities from the beginning. If we go back to 2013, when Tokyo was initially awarded the games by the international Olympic Committee. Then prime minister Shinzo Abbey student front of the international Olympic Committee and said that in Fukushima things were under control business, part of the Dead lie. That's the foundation of the Tokyo Olympics. If you are a self-respecting biologist or scientist in Fukushima at that time, in 2013, you knew things were very much not under control after the triple whammy earthquake tsunami and nuclear meltdown of March, 2011 was still playing out in the prefecture. So that was the first Slide. The second lie is that they started. All these Olympics, the quote unquote, recovery games arguing that by hosting the Olympics. It would actually help Fukushima and the other affected regions recover from the triple whammy disaster wage. Well, when Dave zirin, I went to Fukushima in July 2019 and we talked to journalists, we talked to elected officials, we talked to people on the ground and Fukushima. They said that back covering games Mantra was absolutely annoying. And in fact offensive to them because they told us how the cranes and other items that would help them recover in Fukushima, were actually being transferred to track and even since then, it's just been one debacle after the another the cost of the Tokyo Olympics. For example, have skyrocketed in the bid documents, it was supposed to cost 7.3 billion dollars today, it stands closer to Thirty billion dollars about more than four times the original price tag. You've also got the militarisation of the public sphere. If you look at the Olympics staged or the activists are coming to us from today, it looks like some sort of demilitarized zone with huge fences that prevent everyday people from getting even close to the stadium. And so what we've seen in Tokyo Is on the lot of ways, a nice example, powerful example and you know of what happens with the Olympics when political Elites have them come to your city, it disrupts everything, our long-term problems, that come with it. So we're going to talk about some of the amazing athletes, some who have pulled out. But before we do that, we're going to try satoko, itani again, this song Beauty and power and, you know, who knows what happens? Nature of live television, but satoko itani, you are right at the protest outside. The Olympic Stadium built for over, seventy thousand people. But.