猪瀬知事発言 東京五輪実現へ失点挽回せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 6, 2013
Tokyo Olympic bid committee must do its best to overcome Inose's gaffe
猪瀬知事発言 東京五輪実現へ失点挽回せよ(5月5日付・読売社説)

How can Japan recover from the damage caused by the Tokyo governor's thoughtless remarks on the other bidders for the 2020 Summer Olympics? With less than five months before the International Olympic Committee chooses a host city, Japan's bidding campaign for the Games is entering a crucial stage.

"Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes," Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who also chairs the Tokyo bid committee, was quoted as saying during an interview with a U.S. newspaper.

He apparently was referring to Tokyo's rival bidder--Istanbul, Turkey's capital. We think his remark lacked respect for a different culture.

We also believe Inose violated the IOC's Rules of Conduct forbidding bid committee members from directly criticizing rival cities or comparing their own cities with other bidders.

Abe apologizes to Turkey

When he visited Turkey last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Abe told Erdogan he was afraid Turkey was offended by Inose's remarks and that he hoped the two countries would do their best to win their bids in a spirit of fair play.

The Turkish prime minister thanked Abe for his remarks. We praise Abe for calming the situation in a very friendly manner.

Turkey is a country friendly to Japan and is an important economic partner. Inose is deeply responsible for causing a situation that forced the prime minister to apologize to Turkey.

We notice Inose has done and said many things unfit for the head of the 7.5 billion yen bidding campaign.

In addition to Tokyo and Istanbul, Madrid is also bidding for the 2020 Games.

Inose was also quoted as saying in the interview: "Compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities." This remark apparently violated the rules of conduct, too.

Inose initially claimed several of his remarks quoted in the interview "failed to express my true intentions." But he later changed his mind and said he wanted to "apologize for making some inappropriate remarks."

Responses questionable

We think Inose's response was questionable in terms of settling the problem quickly.

We also cannot understand why he wrote on Twitter after the apology that the latest incident taught him a good lesson about who his friends and enemies were. This might make one suspect Inose may not really regret what he said.

We wonder if winning a record 4.34 million votes in the Tokyo gubernatorial election at the end of last year has made Inose arrogant.

It is now important to figure out how Tokyo can recoup its lost ground before the committee decides on a host city for the 2020 Games on Sept. 7. We are very concerned how the Tokyo governor's remarks will affect the voting behavior of IOC members of other countries, particularly those from Islamic countries.

The Tokyo bid committee must overcome the negative impact caused by Inose's gaffe and carefully explain Tokyo's plan for the Olympics to bolster support for the city.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2013)
(2013年5月5日01時00分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2013-05-07 08:23 | 英字新聞

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