IOC unworried by Fukushima water leaks, JOC says

Kyodo

The International Olympic Committee is completely unfazed by the continued radioactive water leaks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda.

At last month’s IOC Session in Buenos Aires, where Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a global audience the Fukushima plant was “under control.”

Abe’s words have generated tremendous debate in Japan since, and the prime minister has been questioned in the Diet over his choice of language.

Abe claims the radioactive effects from the plant are contained within a 300-meter radius off the shores of Fukushima and, according to Takeda, the IOC is sold.

“In Buenos Aires, the prime minister made it clear he would personally oversee the situation regarding the contaminated water at the plant,” Takeda said Monday at the Japan National Press Club.

“And the IOC told me those were the exact words they were waiting to hear. The IOC was absolutely reassured by what the prime minister said, which is that the situation at the plant will not have any impact on organizing the Olympics in 2020.”

New IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to make a courtesy trip to Japan next month, when the IOC will hold an orientation seminar for the 2020 Games from Nov. 14 to 15.

Takeda said the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee will be launched in early February, but refrained from mentioning who will head the committee.

So far, former Prime Minister and Japan Rugby Football Union President Yoshiro Mori has been linked with the job.

Takeda said he hoped Tokyo’s hosting of the games will improve relations with Seoul and Beijing.