Your article “Olympics mess a nation’s indictment” (Sept. 16) is a useful assessment of some of the horrendous decision-making that has typified Japan’s planning for the 2020 Olympic Games. What both that article and most other commentaries largely overlook is the damage done to Japan in another sporting context.
The first major event to be hosted there was not the Olympics but the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which is now probably the third most important international sporting festival in the world.
Since Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics, the government and media have developed an unhealthy obsession with those games, to the detriment of the RWC. The failure by the Japanese government to deliver the replacement stadium by 2019 will have a significant impact on the ticketing capacity and budget for that tournament, and World Rugby has delivered an ultimatum to the Japanese organizing committee to provide acceptable revised plans for the tournament by the end of this month.
We all hope that a suitable compromise can be reached before that deadline and that the tournament will remain in Japan, but the incompetence involved in reaching this sad state of affairs and the cynical indifference with which the government was prepared to break promises made to World Rugby make a further huge dent in Japan’s image in the international sporting world.
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.