29 January 2016, Friday, Japan squanders an opportunity to produce one of the illest Olympic stadiums as the Japan Sport Council settles on a budget of 2.5 billion yen or 20 million dollars for a new stadium1.
Originally they were supposed to spend 153 billion yen or 12 billion dollars to produce a giant space-turtle by renown architect Kengo Kuma2. Yet now Japan is spending a meager fraction compared to the previous hosts. In 2008 China spent 42 billion dollars on the Summer Olympics3, and in 2014 Russia spent 41 billion dollars on the Winter Olympics4. Two of Japan’s greatest adversaries cast a great polluted shadow over the banana-looking island. That means we shouldn’t expect a beautiful display of virtual fireworks or a frozen graveyard like Sochi, after the 88 contestants and some Europeans went back home. Even the dainty European island, England, spent 12 billion dollars (9 billion pounds) on the Olympics. It brings me to the delicate question. Where is Japan investing all of their yen?
It’s definitely not going to the condescending white cat sitting at the front counter of the local sushi bar. Last year in March the government invested 191 billion yen in an effort to clean or contain the tainted water surrounding the Fukushima Prefecture, after the triple core nuclear meltdown of Fukushima No.1 power plant in March 20085. The Board of Audit describes most of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) restoration attempts as “expensive machines and untested measures that ended in failure.” Japan spent 32 billion yen on a French machine from Areva SA, which was supposed to remove radioactive cesium from the water, but broke just after three months. That investment could have afforded 300 thousand French prostitutes including roundtrip plane tickets. Japan spent 16 billion yen on “shoddy tanks” made of “rubber” and by “unskilled workers,” which also broke and had to be rebuilt. Who would’ve known Japan could also produce crap like their Chinese neighbors with the same level of poison? Then lastly Japan tried to “contain highly contaminated water in maintenance tunnels by freezing it,” or in other words, tried to freeze the ocean, yet that measure failed as well. Workers kept on making radioactive popsicles to eat it with their bentos. The Environment of Ministry realized TEPCO’s incompetence, requesting the company to return 76 billion yen: “All of our requests to Tokyo Electric Power have been made based on the law, and we will continue to urge the company to pay back all the money.”
With 153 billion yen and Japan’s ingenuity, Japan could’ve made a bomb-ass stadium. They could’ve pimped out their building, adding hydraulics and Pioneer speakers, and have a black host like Xzibit appreciate all the features of modern architecture over a hot beat. What it is, fam,says Xhibit, if you just pull down these chairs over here…with the Moroccan leather upholstery…ooh…and bam…French models. Good lookin’, Japan. Yet, because fiscal obligations hamper Japan, we should expect less from 2020’s Olympics.
1. Kyodo. “Japan Sport Council Inks 2.5 Billion deal with Olympic Stadium.” The Japan Times. <http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/30/national/japan-sport-council-inks-%C2%A52-5-billion-deal-olympic-stadium-builders/#.VqxcbCp97IV> Retrieved 30 January 2016.
2. Murai, Shusuke. “Design by Architect Kengo Kuma picked for Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.” The Japan Times. <http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/22/national/design-by-architect-kengo-kuma-picked-for-new-national-stadium/#.Vqx7lLJ97IU> Retrieved 30 January 2016.
3. Fowler, Geoffrey. “China Counts the Cost of Hosting the Olympics.” The Wall Street Journal. <http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB121614671139755287> Retrieved 30 January 2016.
4. Farhi, Paul. “Did the Winter Olympics in Sochi really Cost 50 Billion?” The Washington Post. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/did-the-winter-olympics-in-sochi-really-cost-50-billion-a-closer-look-at-that-figure/2014/02/10/a29e37b4-9260-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html> Retrieved 30 January 2016.
5. Yamaguchi, Mari. “Board of Audit: Billions of Yen Wasted in Fukushima No.1 Clean up.” < http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/24/national/board-of-audit-billions-of-yen-wasted-in-fukushima-no-1-cleanup/#.VqxwT7J97IW> Retrieved 30 January 2016.