Displaying items by tag: Tokyo

Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:19

Japan: can the Paralympics bring lasting change?

The Paralympic Games open in Tokyo on 24 August, with over 4,000 disabled athletes from around the world. Ahead of the event, the International Paralympic Committee is launching a campaign called 'Wethe15'. Wethe15 is sport’s biggest ever human rights movement to end discrimination. It aims to transform the lives of 1.2 billion persons with disabilities, representing 15% of the global population. Figures show that many disabled people live in poverty, struggling to access education and employment. Wethe15 plans to initiate change by bringing together the biggest ever coalition of international organisations from sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment. It will build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face daily at all levels of society. By doing so it wants to break down these barriers so that all persons with disabilities can fulfil their potential and be active and visible members of an inclusive society.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 05 August 2021 21:33

Japan: Tokyo’s hidden homeless

When a country holds the Olympic Games, there is often a redevelopment of parts of the host city. Hundreds of homeless people in Tokyo were given eviction notices even though they have nowhere to go. Metropolitan officials cleared the area of homeless people before the Olympics, and are still doing it during the games. A 62-year-old homeless man said an official approached him on 8 July to tell him, ‘Remove your belongings by 21 July; they are creating obstacles for the Olympics’. According to a Tokyo-based support group, authorities have taken tougher approaches against homeless people since Tokyo was named the host city of 2020 Olympics. Parks are now locked and lit up at night to discourage the homeless from sleeping there. There were 1,126 homeless living in parks in Tokyo in January 2019, but only 862 in 2020. The whereabouts of the 264 is unknown. Tokyo's homeless are experiencing extreme pressure to hide.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 29 April 2021 20:23

Japan: Tokyo Olympics and the pandemic

Japan’s government declared a third state of emergency due to rising Covid infections just three months before hosting the 32nd Olympic Games. Documents released on 28 April introduce new Covid restrictions and requirements ahead of the Olympics, with guidelines that limit participants’ movement and require more testing. Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access said, ‘The government wants to quickly eliminate the rapid increase of new cases with new strands of viruses. We are quite behind with vaccinating the people. We didn’t come up with vaccines of our own, so we depend on US production. Different simulations have been done, and we probably will not be able to finish vaccinating people over 65 before the Olympics are supposed to start.’ One third of Japanese people want to postpone the Olympics for another year; another one third want to cancel it, and the rest want to go ahead after already postponing for a year.

Published in Worldwide