A Declaration of No Thank You to Tokyo Olympics

 Jan.22nd, 2017

TV screens these days are busy depicting triangular battles among Governor of Tokyo Koike, JOC and Tokyo Organizing Committee as to what venues to use/(re) build for the Tokyo Olympics. Sum total of \2,300,000,000,000 being expended for the Olympic and Paralympic Games which last only 2 weeks is certainly a BIG problem.

However, this criticism of the outrageous expenditure has a tricky aspect of covering up other serious problems around the event. The mega-event called Olympics from its start has been functioning as a means of suppressing various imminent conflicts in the (hosting) society and this function has been accelerated as seen in the on-going controversial ‘preparations’ for the event.

We, for a change, have decided to perceive the Tokyo Olympics not as a “festival” but as a “disaster.” It was that “Fukushima is under control” declaration by Prime Minister Abe that prompted us to do so. That declaration of Abe’s does intrinsically symbolize the nature of Tokyo Olympics: all it brings us is “disasters” to our everyday lives.

The Modern Olympics have constructed new facilities and infrastructures always destroying natural environments and the lives of the residents who have faced eventual eviction from the areas. Last summer the number of forcibly evicted residents in Rio amounted to more than 77,000, while 970,000of nature-abounding area being ravaged. In Tokyo the same kinds of violence have been attempted depriving the residents of their living rights: eviction of 300 families from Metropolitan Kasumigaoka Apartment House to build the new National Stadium, expulsion of nojukushas (sleep-outers) from the Meiji Park and its abolition for the construction of Japan Sports Association& JOC building. These are exactly “Olympic Disasters.”

Though the laying before the Diet was postponed late last year, the Conspiracy Act is about to come up, justifying its enactment as a measure to protect the Tokyo Olympics from terrorists’ attacks. Quite a number of detectives from the Public Security Investigation Agency already keep their close eyes on such rallies and meetings as ours. Anything seems to pass unquestioned in the name of anti-terrorism and civil surveillance to suppress all kinds of anti-Olympic views and actions is beginning to be subtly tightened up. This is also an “Olympic Disaster.”

Tokyo Board of Education has distributed Olympic Guidebooks and Study Notebooks to schools where pupils/students are made to attend 35 hrs./yr. of Olympics study. We already feel an atmosphere growing where negative comments about the Olympics are not welcome. Forced mobilizations of pupils and students to games and related events are expected, which will be another “disaster” to school kids.

These are only a few of the “Olympic Disasters,” more and more different genres of which will become apparent from now on.

This rally of ours kicks off a movement to declare “No Thank You” to “Olympic Disasters.” At present we may not find many “No hank You” declarations around us. But in the course of three and a half years, we will strive to make No-Thank-Youists surpass Welcomists through flexible criss-crossings of various types of No-Thank-You’s. We are ready to make our efforts to discuss with great sports and/or Olympics lovers and try to share with them what we mean by “Olympic Disasters.”

Our anti-Olympics movement for 2020 summer in Tokyo, stands together with those in Rio (2016 summer), in Pieongchang (2018 winter) and in Peking(2022 winter). Modern Olympics, when seen globally, have lacked full support of the hosting civil societies, which fact encourages us to cherish the international anti-Olympics solidarity.

We are not alone. Hoping to meet many more No-Thank-Youists, we loudly and clearly declare our “No Thank You.” “We don’t need Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

by No Thank You to Olympic Disasters Kick-off Rally attendees