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letter to IOC from Mr.F.Maki (Nationa Stadium,Tokyo)

Dear President Bach

Please allow me the liberty of writing to you urgent questions concerning the Japan Sports Council's (the JSC's) authority over the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the wake of an intense wave of rising public opposition to the proposed new stadium, the JSC has stated that the stadium is a commitment to the IOC which allows the JSC no discretionary authority to make any further change after the recent downsizing. Is their statement true? Is there any such commitment between the IOC and the JSC?

Since the Hadid design for a new 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium was made public in November 2012, I am the first person who have openly expressed grave concern about many problems inherent to the design and its programs. Presumable problems include the design's harmony with its historic and verdant environs, huge construction costs functional defects (i.e. absence of warning-up grounds) and safety considerations. the attache excerpt from the Business Times, Wednesday, February 5, 2014, clearly explains my professional opinion on these matters.

I trust that you have seen the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium adjacent to the present national stadium. When I design the gym in the early 1980's, I face a challenge in meeting local legislative requirements, some of the strictest in Tokyo. I am proud to say that I met the challenge.

When I first saw the computer graphic image of the new stadium's aerial view, cast over its designated site, I was dismayed at the Hadid design's colossal scale and height vis-a-vis the gym and environs. I instantly foresaw the numerous problems which the new design would cause.  These problems are now evident even to an amateur; people from diverse professional backgrounds and ordinary citizens have banded together to oppose the design. In fact, the scope and intensity of growing criticisms against the project are unparalleled in the history of architecture in Japan.

It is our understanding that IOC simply wants an 80,000 capacity sports facility usable for the 17-day Olympic Games in a pleasant physical environment and other details are left to be decided by the host city's discretion.

The proposed new stadium is bound to become a big nuisance sooner or later. In the face of inevitable complaints and growing resentment about the many burdens that the inapt mammoth stadium will cause, the JSC is likely to use "the commitment to the IOC" as a way of excuse for their conduct. Should that occur, the JSC's deflecting tactics might stain the IOC's glorious history. We do not want to see that happen.

Therefore, please clarify the IOC's stance in this matter. Tell us precisely the IOC's requirements for the main stadium 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Your clarification will help open a new avenue for our much need dialogue with the JSC. We can put many options on the discussion table with the JSC and other relevant organizations. We can visualize the outcome of truly productive discussions a main stadium highly celebrated during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and much beloved long afterwards.

Should you be interested in knowing the shortcomings and deficiencies in the proposed stadium design, I would be happy to explain them to you in details.

We are counting on your answers to my questions, - sooner, the better because of the matter's urgency, in whatever way you prefer to do so. Thank you very much to your prompt attention to my letter.

Respectfully yours


# by fukimison | 2014-06-30 15:12  

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  

The New National Stadium,Tokyo and Olympic movement

The New National Stadium, Tokyo has violated the Olympic movement Agenda 21 because 2011 Kume construction reported the current stadium' refurbish plan at the cost of about 80bn yen.

Excerpts from the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21

3. The Olympic Movement’s Action Programme for Sustainable Development

3.1.6 Human Habitat and Settlements

Sports facilities will be built or converted so as to ensure their harmonious integration into the local context, whether natural or man-made, and in accordance with considerate planning of land use. The infrastructure will have to enable the use of durable and safe construction materials, the economical use of water and energy resources, and efficient waste management. Use of renewable resources and energy supplies will be a priority. Any building or conversion work will have to take into account the principles of environmental protection and ideally be the subject of a prior impact study.

3.2 Conservation and Management of Resources for Sustainable Development

For some years now, the Olympic Movement has regarded the environment as the third pillar of Olympism, alongside sport and culture. As a result, it has developed a proactive environmental defense policy which has found expression in the “Earth Pact”, joint activities with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the “greening” of the Olympic Games, and the holding of world and regional conferences on Sports and the Environment.

3.2.1 Methodology of environmental action for the Olympic Movement

In general terms, all the actions undertaken by the Olympic Movement must take place with due respect for the environment and in the spirit of sustainable development, encourage environmental education and allow specific activities to help preserve the environment.

In the building or conversion of facilities or the planning of large-scale sports events, those responsible will have to ensure that a prior environmental impact study is carries out to ensure respect for the cultural, social and natural environment.

3.2.2 Protection of conservation areas and countryside

Sports activities, facilities and events must be so arranged as to ensure the protection of conservation areas, the countryside, the cultural heritage and natural resources as a whole. They will also have to be sited in such a way as to minimize the environmental impact of the infrastructure associated with them, such as housing, traffic arteries, communications, electricity supplies, water and food supplies, and waste disposal and processing.

The use of a site must go hand in hand with protective measures. Provisions must be made for compensation in the event of irreversible change. The planning and financing of temporary structures must include provision for restoring the site after they have been dismantled.

3.2.3 Sports facilities

A special effort must be made to encourage the best possible use of existing sports facilities, to keep them in good condition and to improve them by increasing safety and reducing their environmental impact.

The creation of new sports facilities must be confined to cases in which demand cannot be satisfied by using or renovating existing facilities.

The location and construction of new facilities must be in compliance with the provisions of paragraph 3.1.6 of this Agenda 21. These facilities will have to comply with local legislation and be designed to fit in with the surrounding natural or man-made scenery.

# by fukimison | 2014-06-17 10:09  

2nd letter to IOC on New National Stadium, Tokyo

the Custodians of the National Stadium received the reply from IOC on May 28th.
The following is the 2nd letter to IOC

May 31, 2014

The Honorable Thomas Bach, President
The International Olympic Committee

c/o Mr.Mark Adams,Communications Director
The International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Case postale 356
100 Lausanne (IOC), Switzerland

Dear President Bach,

We appreciated the IOC’s letter dated 28 May 2014, from Mr. Mark Adams, IOC Communications Director, on your behalf. We are pleased that the IOC is committed to respecting the environment and creating a sustainable future for the 2020 Olympic venue. Your statement that environmental concerns are important in the planning and operation processes right through to the long-term effects of Olympic Games is heartening.

We understand that your representative contacted the Japan Organising Committee about our concerns, namely that the Japan Sports Council (JSC) has violated the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21, paragraphs 3.1.6, 3.2.2, and 3.2.3. We also understand that the Organising Committee assured your representative that the Committee recognizes our concerns and that the Japan Sports Council is examining the optimal solution for the design of the stadium.

Unfortunately, the Japan Organising Committee and the Japan Sports Council lied to the IOC. The JSC is ramming their new stadium project forward in spite of rising objections by a broad-scoped alliance of citizens, architects, city planners, historians and media reporters. The situation is extremely urgent because the JSC is all ready for the demolition of the existing stadium. As Mr. Adams noted in his above-mentioned letter, the iconic 1964 Tokyo Olympic Stadium is an important part of Japanese sports’ history.

The JSC is determined to replace the stadium with a new one. They have ignored our repeated requests to renovate the relatively young 56-year-old stadium. They have refused to consider cost-effective and low-impact alternatives to the JSC’s proposed stadium – designs suggested by many eminent architects including the 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, JSC announced the new stadium design, which, though scaled back from the original, is still a mammoth totally out of sync with its verdant surroundings. This whole area was landscaped in 1926 as the outer garden of the Meiji Jingu Shrine, a place of worship dedicated to the spirits of Emperor and Empress Meiji. The historic area has been carefully conserved with strict building height limits for any construction in the area. Its precious green space serves as an oasis for Tokyoites and visitors alike. The planned 70-meter-high new stadium with its affiliated facilities will inevitably decimate the landscaping and greenery in this area.

The JSC’s new stadium plan clearly violates the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21, paragraph 3. 2. 3, Sports facilities: “A special effort must be made to encourage the best possible use of existing sports facilities, to keep them in good condition and to improve them by increasing safety and reducing their environmental impact.
The creation of new sports facilities must be confined to cases in which demand cannot be satisfied by using or renovating existing facilities.

The location and construction of new facilities must be in compliance with the provisions of paragraph 3. 1. 6 of this Agenda 21. These facilities will have to comply with local legislation and be designed to fit in with the surrounding natural or man-made scenery.”

The JSC has ignored the IOC’s above stipulations by canceling the original renovation plan for the existing stadium. Their switching to building a new stadium violates your stated policies. In the 2012 international design competition that the JSC organized, they intentionally ignored the area’s historic and environmental value by eliminating local legislative limits in the terms of building specifications they released to competition entrants.

Other relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Japan Olympic Committee, have minimized publicity on the new design’s detrimental environmental impact in order to evade public criticism. The environmental assessment for this project, in compliance with IOC’s requirements, has, in truth, yet to be completed.

We request you, therefore, to alert the Organising Committee and the Japan Olympic Committee to the JSC’s violations of Agenda 21 and to order them to stop the existing stadium’s imminent demolition. We ask you to remind them that we Tokyo citizens are stakeholders in the national stadium issue and that they should have more respect for our opinions.

Thank you very much for your kind understanding of the grave concerns we have about the violations of the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 and the fate of historic Meiji Jingu outer garden area. With every desire for the unparalleled success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, we ask for your support.

Sincerely yours,

(Mrs.) Nobuko Shimizu
The Custodians of the National Stadium, Tokyo

# by fukimison | 2014-06-12 09:56  

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