The 2020 Vision: Reforming the Olympics, uscpublicdiplomacy.org
image from entry
Sep 6, 2016
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, has recently released a statement outlining her city’s commitment to a cleaner Olympics in 2020. Given the corruption scandals surrounding the Rio 2016 games, as well as the resignation of Koike’s predecessor over a public spending scandal, it is no surprise that responsible budgeting is at the forefront of Tokyo’s efforts. Koike thus promises transparent contracting, arguing that taxpayer-funded public projects should not carry the same level of confidentiality as private-sector ventures. Another bold move is the selection of a board of accountants and anti-corruption specialists to oversee the process, rather than leaving it up to state and city officials already overburdened with day-to-day duties. Most controversially, Koike intends for the other stakeholders—the International Olympic Committee (IOC), corporate sponsors, and television networks—to start pulling their weight. After all, Koike states, “[it is] against the spirit of the Games to stand by and reap huge profits while the city that opens its doors to the world bears crushing, generational costs.” If fulfilled, Tokyo’s vision of a corruption-free Olympic Games could change the way in which the event is viewed, particularly among developing countries. At the very least, the effort will cast a spotlight on Japanese national image and values.
The full piece is available here.