Tokyo Olympics: City allegedly lied about weather in bid to host 2020 games
Tokyo's candidacy proposal for the 2020 Summer Olympics allegedly lied about its weather, featuring descriptions of its July and August weather in terms many Japanese and visitors wouldn't agree with. Now critics say that the words which "sold" the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could lead to injury or worse for participants and potential legal hot water for those who created the bid. CGTN's Steve Ross tells us more from Tokyo.
JAKE ADELSTEIN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST "The Japanese government has told some colossal lies in their times, but the biggest lie they ever said was in the prospectus they sent to the International Olympic Committee where they said August is a lovely time to hold the Olympics in Tokyo because it's 'mild.' That is completely false."
Did Tokyo officials lie about the weather to get the 2020 Summer Olympic Games? It's a powerful accusation, but one that seems to be backed up by language in the original candidacy proposal, which calls Tokyo's summer "mild" and "ideal." And, some say, it's that language that could ultimately endanger Olympic athletes, spectators, and staff – and possibly result in criminal penalties for those who made the bid.
JAKE ADELSTEIN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST "I think there's going to be so many people injured or falling ill at the Olympic Stadiums themselves, I wouldn't be surprised if someone files criminal charges – of criminal negligence resulting in injury or death, because that's how bad it is."
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run from July 24 to Aug. 9, and the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6. This July, Tokyo's peak temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit) with 75% humidity. In July of 2018, a record heat wave killed nearly 100 individuals in Tokyo alone, and in August 2018, roughly 1100 persons were transported to Tokyo hospitals for heatstroke symptoms.
STEVE ROSS TOKYO "With construction fully in progress, much of the attention is now focused on Tokyo's summer heat, and one might imagine that Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games officials would be getting a bit hot under the collar; but they say they've made extensive preparations to ensure that the Games are cool enough."
HAREMI TAMURA TOKYO 2020 "There's no single perfect heat countermeasure. It's important to build an array of measures considering all aspects. Our points of focus will address facilities, water supply, information distribution, and rescue operations."
Many of Tokyo 2020's heat countermeasures have already undergone test runs for practice with real crowds. As Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium nears completion, its cooling greenery accents the stadium's free airflow design; but, with a multitude of Olympic venues, concerns were stoked when one venue construction worker died of apparent heatstroke in early August. Tokyo 2020 officials say that regarding heat at the Games, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.