Letter to President Bach, IOC

Dear President Bach:

As an expert on the presidential position of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), 2007-2010, and also the Examiner on environmental and social
considerations of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), I have to express my grave concern about the Japan Sports Council’s(JSC’s) violation of the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21, paragraph 3.2.1., Methodology of Environmental Action for the Olympic Movement. Even as I write now, the JSC, the administrator of the national stadium in Jingu Gaien, is hasteningto dismantle the perfectly repairable and improvable present stadium. They will destroy the valuable stadium in the history of modern Olympic Games without waiting for the completion of the environmental impact assessment process presently being conducted under the direction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Tokyo Metropolitan officials have said that the current procedure meets the IOC’s environmental guidelines for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, I have to say that the procedure does not meet IOC guidelines, which should be on international standard shared by IAIA members such as the experts of the World Bank or JICA and so forth. A procedure for a true EIA must have a rule to dictate that the proposed development project could not begin until the EIA process was fully completed. The procedure has to also provide for an investigation of
relevant scope of alternatives to the proposed project including renovation of the present stadium, the legacy of 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. The current procedure fails on both of these point

In fact, the Japanese laws on EIA of the national government and local governments prohibit any new project starts before EIA process is completed. Therefore, in giving a
free hand to the JSC, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is ignoring established legislation in Japan.

The JSC has adamantly refused any dialogue with those who are protesting its plan. It has also refused to consider alternative proposals by a broad-scoped coalition of concerned citizens, prominent architects, city planners, environmentalists and various
stakeholders in the national stadium and supporters of the Olympic Games.

Because of my keen concern about the imminent de molition of the present stadium,
which would be started from July 1, I am forced to alert you to possible stains this
situation might bring to the glorious history of the Olympics. I request you, therefore,
to immediately order the Japan Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan
Government to stop the JSC from dismantling the present national stadium
and implement a true EIA process of international standard.

And, please also advise them to take note of the risings well of public opinions
against the demolition recently expressed in leading newspaper editorials
such as the Asahi dated May 25, 2014 and the Nihon Keizai Economic Journal dated June 1, 2014, to mention a few.These editorials ask for transparency and productive
dialogue on what facilities Japanese should prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The existing national stadium is too“mottai-nai” to destroy. Roughly translated“what a waste,”the traditional Japanese term,“mottai-nai,”has aprofound and
ethical sense of not abusing things. It embodies the concept of sustainability
and has been publicized outside Japan by Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist, Vice Minister of the Environment and Nobel Prize laureate. I am confident that to stop the destruction ofthe national stadium
and to conserve it as the legacy of 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games isprecisely the way to
promote and instill the spirit of the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 into the whole
Japanese society and worldwide.

Thank you very much for kindly considering my requests

Sincerely yours,
Sachihiko Harashina Dr. of Engineering
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Policy Informatics, Chiba University of Commerce
Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Examiner, Japan International Cooperation Agency

by fukimison | 2014-06-18 10:33 | 動向  

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