Letter to President Bach, IOC

31 March 2014
The Honorable Thomas Bach, President
The International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Case postale 356
1001 Lausanne (IOC), Switzerland

Dear President Bach:

I am writing on behalf of the Custodians of the National Stadium, an alliance of voluntary citizens’ groups concerned with Tokyo’s cultural and environmental preservation, to request that you askthe Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to revise the plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium.

We understand that your Committee wisely adopted the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 at its June 1999 Session in Seoul. In the document’s foreword, the then IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said: “For its part, the IOC undertakes to use all its influence to achieve the objectives outlined in the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21.” Paragraph 3.2.3 Sports facilities specifically stipulates: “The creation of new sports facilities must be confined to cases in which demand cannot be satisfied by using or renovating existing facilities.”

Regrettably, the Japan Sports Council (JSC), the administrator of the existing national stadium, has violated the Agenda 21, paragraphs 3.1.6, 3.2.2, and 3.2.3 by planning new facilities as the main venue of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The proposed 70 meters-high 80,000 capacity new stadium will inevitably destroy the historic Jingu Gaien district landscaped in 1926 in harmony with the verdant Meiji Shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji. Jingu Gaien is an oasis for Tokyo for residents and visitors, both Japanese and non-Japanese.

Beginning in August 2013, many architects, including the 1993 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Fumihiko Maki , have openly criticized the JSC’s plan.

In November our group began organizing forums and wrote to the JSC demanding
an explanation of the plan’s legitimacy in light of environmental conservation and
sustainability. We strongly supported House of Councilors member Yoshifu Arita
when he questioned the plan at the House’s Budget Committee’s March 2, 2014
session. We also have submitted written petitions to Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, requesting that they comply with the recommendations of the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 and act to stop the proposed new stadium construction

Unfortunately, we have received only lukewarm responses from JSC and other authorities. We call your attention to the Japanese authorities’ failure to address
environmental and sustainability considerations. We respectfully ask you to urge them to promptly revise the plan, taking your own guidelines on environment, local context, and sustainability into account

We believe the revision in accordance with the IOC’s guidelines will both ensure the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and achieve a sustainable future for all

Very Truly yours

Nobuko Shimizu
The Custodians of the National Stadium, Tokyo

by fukimison | 2014-06-11 11:33  

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