The 13 members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission were greeted by protesters during their inspection of 25 of the 34 venues to be used should Tokyo host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
About 40 protesters chanted, “Tokyo doesn’t need the Olympics” from outside a fenced-off area at the sight of the 100,000-seat main Olympic Stadium.
The group said the city was using taxpayers’ money for large construction projects in the name of the Olympics.
Retired Japanese bronze-medal sprinter Nobuharu Asahara said, “I think this kind of opposition is seen in every country. The voice of protesters did not bother me”.
A Tokyo 2016 official said, “it is a sign of democracy, part of the Game”.
The IOC commission was shown a “colossal” 1/1000-scale model of the city centre at an exhibition hall that would host wrestling, fencing and taekwondo. The model, 17 metres by 15 metres, is panoramic with details of venues and numerous other buildings in Tokyo, including a 610-metre new Tokyo Tower to be completed in 201l, reports AFP.
The IOC team has two more days of briefings on Tokyo’s 2016 bid with an emphasis on care for athletes and the environment.
Meanwhile the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) announced Friday that six companies have signed agreements to join its new JOC Gold Partnership Program for first-class corporate sponsorships of sporting events connected with the Olympic Movement.
The companies that have agreed to become JOC Gold Sponsors are globally recognized representative Japanese companies “with a deep understanding of our philosophy”, said the JOC.