After reading Chikako Nakayama’s May 29 article, “World Cup without succor,” I would like to make a few observations, as the writer failed to grasp two basic aspects of Brazil’s current political and economic state.
First, Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world. Given that Brazil has 200 million people and a GDP of $2.39 trillion, the impact of the World Cup on our economy will be very limited. Moody’s recently stated that the impact of the World Cup on Brazil’s GDP will be an increase of 0.4 percent over the next 10 years.
That said, the information that money that should have been used to build hospitals and schools went toward building stadiums is entirely inaccurate and once again disregards the scale of the Brazilian economy.
An illustration of this is that the entire budget of the World Cup corresponds to a single month of government spending on education.
Second, in political terms, Brazil is undoubtedly one of the most transparent countries in the world. The Brazilian government does not suppress protests, and freedom of expression is guaranteed. Most of the criticism toward Brazil and the World Cup represents a very healthy exercise of democracy, and the Brazilian press is always the first to point out mistakes and abuses.
The demonstrations of dissatisfaction are proof of Brazil’s commitment to democracy and not the opposite.
I would be delighted to welcome Nakayama to the embassy to discuss these issues in further detail. Our embassy will have a pavilion open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day during the World Cup, to share the excitement of the event with our Japanese friends.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.