Iwate: Do you think the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will have any positive effect on Tohoku?

Interviews were conducted in the town of Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture.

Jerome Cosse
University professor, 38 (French)
Personally, I don’t think Japan needs the Olympics, which have become too commercial and political. I prefer the Nemean Games, which is a return to the original spirit of the ancient Olympics.

Yolie Feliz-Bordonada
Language student, 24 (American)
I think it’s perfect timing to host an event like the Olympics in 2020. All the international attention will ensure Tohoku stays in the spotlight and will hopefully lead to continued fundraising efforts.

Miho Noro
Shop staff, 40 (Japanese)
I don’t think the timing is right. I have relatives in the Rikuzentakata area, which was badly affected by the 2011 disaster. The money would be better spent on helping people in Tohoku.

William Woods
English teacher, 28 (American)
I can’t comment on the financial impact, but it could be good for morale. For example, I’m from New Orleans, which successfully hosted the Super Bowl just a few years after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

Takenobu Sato
Retailer, 49 (Japanese)
I think it’s great that the Olympic Games are coming! There’ll be a lot of foreign visitors and I want them to come to Tohoku and see the wonderful things we have to offer here.

Yuko Shiga
Pharmacy student, 28 (Japanese)
Hosting the Olympics will be exciting for Japan, but there are other priorities. Is it really right to invite all these foreign athletes while we are still cleaning up after the Fukushima nuclear disaster?

Interested in collecting vox pops in your local area? Email community@japantimes.co.jp

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