The International Olympic Committee has chosen Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It is hoped that Tokyo's hosting of the once-in-four-year global games will help dispel the "locked in" feeling prevalent in Japanese society — which has been primarily attributed to difficult economic conditions — and help to enhance the level of sports in Japan. But government leaders must realize that their promise to end the leaks of radioactive water from Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has now become an international pledge.
The government must mobilize all available resources to quickly solve the leak problem so that not only people in and around Fukushima Prefecture but also participants in the Olympic and Paralympic Games will not have to worry about radiation problems. It will be especially important for the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. to tackle the problem in a transparent manner so that people both in Japan and abroad can have ready access to accurate information on the situation.
Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo, the candidate cities to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, all had strong and weak points. Madrid, which sought to hold the games in a less extravagant way, is suffering from Spain's serious economic problems. Istanbul, which could have become the first city in the Islamic world to host the games, had its image tarnished by clashes between government forces and demonstrators earlier this year. Tokyo, whose marketing campaign stressed, "You're in safe hands with Tokyo," had the festering radiation problem.