The highway to the Olympics is never easy for any host nation because the nation comes beneath the extraordinary glare of the worldwide highlight.
A yr later there are nonetheless questions marks over whether or not they need to be going forward, given Japan not too long ago handed the grim milestone of 10,000 deaths and infections proceed to soar within the host nation.
Apart from Covid-19, Tokyo 2020 has had loads of issues to take care of within the build-up
The Worldwide Olympic Committee insist the present will go on however Covid-19 is just not the one main situation organisers have needed to take care of since they had been awarded the Video games over Istanbul and Madrid in 2013.
Japan has been confronted with quite a few headline-hitting controversies which have gripped the world, together with corruptions claims, the security of building employees, arguments over the standard of its water and asbestos in a few of its venues.
Right here, Sportsmail has taken a have a look at the troubles Tokyo has confronted and the way it tackled them forward of internet hosting the largest sporting occasion on the planet.
‘Bribery and corruption’
With only a yr to go till the unique date of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan was pressured to elect a brand new chief to its Nationwide Olympic Committee.
The nation’s umbrella organisation for Olympic issues had been drowning in a scandal that noticed the previous president step apart following his position in an alleged vote-buying scheme to land the video games.
Yasuhiro Yamashita was chosen to take over from Tsunekazu Takeda, who resigned as Japan’s Olympic Committee (JOC) president and as a member of the IOC in 2019.
Fittingly, former Judo gold medallist Yamashita mentioned: ‘We’ve to boost our integrity to have the ability to get well the belief of the Japan sports activities world. That is crucial factor.’
Takeda, who led the JOC for nearly 20 years, repeatedly denied the corruption allegations.
Yasuhiro Yamashita took over from Tsunekazu Takeda (pictured), who stepped down in 2019
The scandal was a black mark for the Tokyo Video games, though they nonetheless appeared to have widespread public help on the time as ticket demand surged.
Takeda was extremely seen in 2019 when he stood alongside IOC President Thomas Bach, exchanging in small discuss in Tokyo as Bach referred to as the Japanese Olympics the ‘greatest ready’ in historical past.
Takeda has acknowledged he signed off on about $2million (£1.6million) in funds to a Singapore consulting firm.
Takeka, who has been largely portrayed as the autumn man, mentioned he was not a part of the decision-making course of and had no motive to query signing a ‘common business contract’.
‘So far as Mr Takeda involving the French authorities, I consider he’s harmless,’ mentioned Yamashita, including the JOC investigated the problem and didn’t see a necessity for additional examination.
‘I consider in his innocence and I’m assured that’s how will probably be determined.’
Takeda is a distant member of Japan’s royal household, the great-grandson of the Meiji emperor who dominated late within the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. He competed in equestrian occasions within the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
Most cancers-causing asbestos in Olympic venue
Tokyo 2020 organisers needed to take ’emergency countermeasures’ in December 2019 after asbestos was discovered on the water polo venue for the Video games.
It was initially found in 2017 however organisers opted towards treating it on the time based mostly on its severity.
Asbestos, which was as soon as extensively utilized in fireproofing and insulation, has been linked to a number of well being hazards together with mesothelioma and different varieties of most cancers.
A Japanese newspaper report mentioned the Tokyo authorities discovered the asbestos in fireproof materials sprayed on a part of the construction supporting the Tokyo Tatsumi Worldwide Swimming Centre’s roof.
Asbestos was discovered on a part of what supported the Tokyo Tatsumi Swimming Heart’s roof
Whereas Japanese building trade rules state asbestos must be eliminated or coated up, the Tokyo authorities deemed the quantity to not be massive in scale, in a steady situation and never accessible so determined to go away it.
Organisers had since determined to take ’emergency countermeasures’, however it’s not clear what these entail.
USA Water Polo spokesman Greg Mescall informed Asbestos.com in January: ‘We’re working carefully with america Olympic & Paralympic Committee along with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and we’re assured that they’re taking the mandatory precautions to make sure the well being and security of all athletes in the course of the video games, no matter venue or web site.’
Fukushima nuclear meltdown
Tokyo is being dubbed by some because the ‘restoration Olympics’, because the nation continues to make progress from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that left greater than 15,000 folks lifeless.
The freak occasion in March that yr led to a meltdown on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station north of Tokyo and was the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986.
It led to the eventual shutdown of all Japan’s reactors which, earlier than the catastrophe, had equipped about 30 per cent of the nation’s electrical energy.
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to a nuclear meltdown on the Fukushima plant
A fee appointed by Japan’s parliament concluded in 2012 that Fukushima ‘was a profoundly artifical catastrophe – that would and will have been foreseen and prevented, (whereas) its results may have been mitigated by a simpler human response.’
In 2016, the federal government estimated the overall value of plant dismantling, decontamination of affected areas, and compensation can be 21.5 trillion yen (£155billion), or a few fifth of Japan’s annual funds.
In September 2019 Japan’s nuclear regulator mentioned it could launch a brand new investigation into the catastrophe, to look into how radiation leaked from broken reactor containment vessels and different components.
Authorities have mentioned they’re planning a sequence of investigations as radiation ranges progressively fall sufficient in reactor buildings to permit nearer examination.
And in December 2019, the nation revised a roadmap for the cleanup of the tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant, additional delaying the removing of hundreds of spent gas models that stay in cooling swimming pools for the reason that 2011 catastrophe.
It was a key step within the decades-long course of, difficult by excessive radiation and different dangers. The federal government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electrical Energy Co., are retaining a 30- to 40-year completion goal.
When the Olympic Flame lastly began its 121-day journey round Japan after a 12-month delay again in March, footballer Azusa Iwashimizu carried it in Fukushima. It was there for 3 days on its tour round Japan.
E.coli within the swimming water
A November 2019 survey of the water in Tokyo bay, the place the swimming leg of the triathlon can be held within the 2020 Olympics, produced blended outcomes.
There have been extra ranges of E.coli micro organism recorded on in the future, even in areas protected by underwater screens.
The bounce was probably attributable to heavy rain. As in lots of different main cities around the globe, Tokyo processes rainwater and family wastewater by way of the identical sewage system.
When torrential rain overwhelms the town’s water therapy services, partly handled sewage and even uncooked sewage diluted with rainwater can discover their manner into the setting.
On one of many 12 days in early to mid-August 2019, when the water display screen system was put in for the take a look at, E.coli ranges had been as much as 4 occasions above the accepted restrict, the survey confirmed. They had been under the restrict on the opposite 11 days.
Tokyo 2020 official Kaori Akiya mentioned triple-layer screens had been to be put in for the Video games, in contrast with single-layer screens used in the course of the survey, making the realm, referred to as Odaiba Marine Park, match to host the competitors.
A November survey of the water in Tokyo bay (pictured) confirmed excessive ranges of E.coli on in the future
Akiya, the Tokyo 2020 Venue Normal Supervisor, mentioned: ‘It might be tough when a big storm comes this fashion, however there must be no drawback in internet hosting occasions on the Odaiba Marine Park if we arrange triple-layered screens and function them correctly.’
Considerations over excessive temperatures and water high quality points have dogged the Tokyo 2020 organisers.
The IOC mentioned in January 2020 that the marathon occasions can be moved to the far northern metropolis of Sapporo to keep away from Tokyo’s summer season warmth. In August 2019, the swimming leg of a para-triathlon race was cancelled resulting from excessive ranges of E.coli micro organism discovered within the water of Tokyo Bay.
To assist guarantee spectators keep hydrated in the summertime warmth, organisers have determined to allow them to carry as much as 750ml of non-alcoholic drink into competitors venues, a departure from the observe of current Olympics.
‘In London or Rio, drinks from exterior had been prohibited for safety causes,’ Hidemasa Nakamura, Tokyo 2020 Video games Supply Officer, mentioned.
‘However this time, warmth has change into such an enormous matter. As this can be very essential to have one thing to drink available, we have determined to let folks herald one bottle every.’
Stadium building chaos
The largest headache for organisers got here within the form of, or maybe extra precisely, design of, the centrepiece of the fortnight.
The intention from an early stage was to transform the Nationwide Stadium in Tokyo, which had been the positioning of the 1964 Olympics, the final time the town had hosted the Video games.
In February 2012 a £700million renovation was introduced, with the design up for bidding.
The profitable proposal confronted huge criticism over its design, which was in comparison with a bicycle helmet.
The Nationwide Stadium was redesigned by Kengo Kuma. It was impressed by conventional temples
The price of establishing the brand new Nationwide Stadium has been projected at a staggering £1bn
As prices spiralled to just about £1.8billion the Zaha Hadid design was scrapped solely.
The brand new design, by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has been impressed by conventional temples and has a way more standard look.
They’d needed the stadium to be prepared in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, however that proved unattainable as a result of change in plans.
The price, although, has nonetheless been projected at a staggering £1billion, with the capability at 68,000, which may enhance to 80,000 for soccer matches.
Each the opening and shutting ceremonies can be held right here, together with athletics occasions and soccer matches. After the Video games it would proceed for use for sporting and cultural occasions.
A ‘tradition of concern’ amongst building employees
Building employees had been residing in a ‘tradition of concern’ and compelled to work for lengthy hours in perilous situations constructing Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues, in accordance with a report from a number one worldwide labour organisation.
The Constructing and Wooden Employees’ Worldwide (BWI) report, which was based mostly on interviews with employees, mentioned they had been coping with harmful situations, lengthy working hours and an insufficient complaints system.
BWI additionally famous two building employees had died in reference to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
BWI Normal Secretary Ambet Yuson mentioned within the report: ‘The Tokyo 2020 Summer time Olympics was Japan’s alternative to handle among the long-running gaps throughout the building trade in Japan; nevertheless, these issues have simply bought worse.’
In 2017, the dad and mom of a 23-year-old builder on the New Nationwide Stadium petitioned the federal government to recognise his suicide as ‘karoshi’ – or loss of life by overwork, with media saying he labored 200 hours of additional time a month earlier than his loss of life.
A labour requirements workplace ultimately recognised his loss of life as work-related.
Employees are pictured on the building web site of Athletes’ Village in 2018 forward of the Olympics
The BWI report mentioned Japan’s acute labour scarcity had put immense stress on building employees.
Builders on the Olympic and Paralympic athlete village reported working 28 days in a row, whereas these engaged on the New Nationwide Stadium reported working 26 days consecutively, the report mentioned.
The report was submitted to officers at Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities, and the Japan Sports activities Council, which manages the New Nationwide Stadium, in Might 2019.
A JSC spokesman mentioned: ‘The JSC has been calling for efforts on the development firm to make sure the security and well being of employees and receiving stories repeatedly.
‘Nevertheless, as of immediately, now we have not been capable of establish instances written within the BWI report or different violations of legislation.’
Eight new venues have been constructed for the Video games alongside older renovated venues within the capital.
The JSC managed the development of the New Nationwide Stadium, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities was answerable for the remaining new venues.
Tokyo 2020 organisers had been answerable for the short-term gymnastics venue, which was not talked about within the report.
Some builders engaged on the New Nationwide Stadium reported working 26 days consecutively
The organising committee famous it was not the ‘commissioning celebration’ for any of the opposite initiatives.
Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya mentioned: ‘The Tokyo Organising Committee… is now reviewing the contents of the report and can cooperate with associated stakeholders to look into the alleged situation.’
Building work on Tokyo’s New Nationwide Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2020 Summer time Olympics, started in December 2016 after a delay of practically a yr.
The unique design was rejected due to its excessive value, however it was accomplished in November 2019.
Organisers had offered the 2020 Olympics as a chance to melt Japan’s work tradition.
The nation has few limits on additional time and pay. Workers at greater than a fifth of corporations exceeded a authorities threshold of 80 hours of month-to-month additional time, a white paper confirmed in 2016.
The infrastructure ministry predicted in 2018 the Japanese building trade would face a scarcity of 470,000 to 930,000 employees by 2025.