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Tokyo: What do you make of Gov. Naoki Inose’s comments about Muslims and Istanbul’s Olympic bid?

by Mark Buckton

Fatih Mocagoz, 25
Restaurant staff (Turkish)
I think many people in Japan see all foreigners as fighting with each other, not just Muslims. But, focusing on the positives [and ignoring Inose's negative comments], I see Istanbul as the better option [to be 2020 host]. Being Turkish, and also from the area south of Istanbul, I support the games going to my capital city.

Anna Tanaka, 22
Singer/songwriter (Japanese)
I get the impression that Gov. Inose obviously doesn’t know much about Islamic counties, so that is probably why he said what he did. He should have thought before he spoke, as there are so many religions all over the world and we need to be careful, so it is a little shameful that he said what did.

Cemal Buyukkoles, 38
Kafkas kebab shop owner (Turkish)
As a Muslim living in Japan, I just saw Inose as being Inose, and his remarks were not worthy of responding to. In reality Japan and Turkey have no problems, and although I have been here for seven years now, Istanbul is my home, and so I wholeheartedly support the 2020 Olympic Games going to Turkey.

Antony Tran, 31
Photographer (French)
I think that Gov. Inose made some very insensitive comments, which were largely inaccurate, and it is always irresponsible to throw such provocations about lightly. Tokyo should promote its own good points rather than opt for chucking dirt and low blows.

Naoko Fukuda, 24
Company employee (Japanese)
As a Japanese woman I feel sorry about what he said, especially after he pretended not to have said what he did. But, as we know he did say those things, the truth is that he was just too brazen in explaining his feelings. He should have considered the possible consequences before opening his mouth.

Felix Lill, 27
Journalist (German)
Mr. Inose’s remarks are more than just a faux pas, as they put a question mark over Tokyo’s much-emphasized openness to the world. If he were a politician in my home country, where there is a sizeable Turkish community, he would likely have had to resign. It’ll be interesting to see how he, and Tokyo’s bid, recover from this.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

  • ConstablePlod

    Putting aside Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose’s desperately stupid and ignorant comment for a moment, does anyone seriously think the cream of the world’s athletes will come and compete in a nuclear contaminated Japan?

    The finest athletes in the world, come to a land where two years after the disaster they still haven’t managed to shut down the reactors or come up with a strategy to decontaminate million of gallons of radiated water? The current plan is to cut down a nearby forest and install more storage tanks.
    That brilliant idea was probably thought up by the genius who put the Dai-ichi generators underground!
    Even an idiot can see that another earthquake would send all that water into the sea, into the food chain and around the world.

    Far better Japan spends the trillions of yen slated for the Olympics on cleaning up after the deadly mess that is slowly but surely contaminating and depopulating vast swathes of Tohoku. Even the billions of yen used for the years long campaign could be better used to house and recompense the victims.

    This unseen, ongoing contamination, already judged to be far more deadly than Chernobyl, has not been dealt with, so why is anyone in Japan even considering hosting the Olympics?.