Olympic Committee Is
By Yoichi Shimatsu
| Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s big lies to the delegates voting on host city for the 2020
Olympics to Japan is a tribute to his deceitful grandfather Nobusuke Kishi,
whose support was crucial to winning the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In line
with their subversion of the Olympic spirit toward militarist goals, this
bid-winning dynasty is best known for three reasons: corruption of the
Games, war mongering and lust for nuclear power. Kishi was a Class-A war
criminal who created a secret A-bomb program in occupied Korea, and his
grandson’s Olympic bid is a thinly disguised effort to gain world support
for Japan as a nuclear-weapons power.
To the surprise of their citizens, a majority of national Olympic committees accepted Abe’s blatant lies about Tokyo’s radiation safety and economic prosperity. First off, so-called Abenomics is destroying what remains of the dying economy of the world’s most debt-ridden nation. Residents of Madrid, disparaged by a pro-Wall Street media, are far less indebted than the average Japanese taxpayer, while the Spanish quality of life is immensely superior to the misery, hunger and hopelessness of Japan’s urban majority, who are soon to be slammed with a consumer tax hike. As for civil disturbances in Istanbul, only a minority of Turkish citizens are affected, whereas everyone in Japan is being relentlessly exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in food, water and air.
Eyes Wide Shut
As if wearing blinders, delegates at Buenos Aires failed to raise questions about the thousands of tons of radioactive ash from Tokyo’s incinerators that burned Fukushima combustible waste for two years. Dumped into the capital’s near-shore landfills, Tokyo Bay is massively contaminated.
The forests around Tokyo’s watershed in Oku-Tama are dangerously drenched by radioactive rainfall, and the national food supply is so irradiated that regulators have raised the food safety level.
The risk of more clouds of radioactive fallout sweeping toward Tokyo is not hypothetical but an inevitable consequence of uncontrollable subterranean meltdowns of hundreds of tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima. The danger is amplified by recurrent earthquakes along Japan’s major fault lines and consequent volcanic eruptions, which pose a constant threat to the nearby nuclear plants at Hamaoka on the seaside below Mount Fuji, Tokai in neighboring Ibaraki, and the twin plants in Fukushima. Another explosion at any of these nuclear sites would force the evacuation of 50 million residents, or one-third of the population.
A major quake or volcanic eruption, long-overdue in the nearby Nankai Trough and Mount Fuji, and even under Tokyo itself, would close the capital’s airports, forcing thousands of Olympic athletes and spectators along with millions of residents to flee in the opposite direction, directly into Fukushima Prefecture. Tokyo is a killing field waiting to happen.
How the Bid Was Won
Prime ministers, evil as they might be, are only as good as their henchmen. For Abe, the global lobbying spadework was done by Japan Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who traveled to 50 countries to secure support from national committees. His promises were backed up by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education (which handles sports) by providing ample foreign-aid packages for local sports programs. Amid all the grant-making and wining and dining, with no transaction records available to the public, it is impossible to distinguish between funds for uniforms and under-the-table payments to corrupt Olympic delegations.
Another lever to pull, when trying to buy hosting rights is to influence the International Olympic Committee through its TOP sponsorship program involving corporations that circle the IOC Lausanne headquarters like so many vultures. Takeda’s ally Masato Mizuno, former chief of Mizuno Sports and CEO of the Tokyo bidding team, led the outreach to the TOP sponsors. These corporate sponsors played a key role at Buenos Aires in quelling fears among national committee who voiced worries about potential radiation exposure to athletes and fans in Tokyo.
Even at first glance, these sponsors are not readily associated with the Olympic goals of good health much less amateur sports. Anyone who believes in healthy fun meal hype from McDonalds does not comprehend the hazards of obesity and clogged arteries. Besides household names like toothpaste giant P&G and smartphone maker Samsung, some brands on the sponsor list such as Atos are virtually unknown.
Every corporation that is a global sponsor of the IOC is, in fact, connected with the nuclear industry, and some directly with the melted-down Fukushima plant. Here’s a look at the list:
GE (General Electric): builder of Fukushima Mark 1 reactors Nos. 1,2 and 6; and designer of MOX (mixed oxide of uranium and plutonium) shroud for reactors Nos.3 and 4. The tritium-enhanced explosion at Reactor 3 massively contaminated the Kanto region, including Tokyo’s watershed.
Panasonic: Besides televisions and home appliances, this Japanese electronics giant is a manufacturer of radiation measuring equipment used by TEPCO and other atomic energy players, including Iran’s nuclear program.
Atos: A French IT company that provides command-and-control systems for 70 nuclear power plants around the world, and which is also involved in the upgrade of British nuclear power plants recently acquired by Hitachi-GE.
Dow: Along with partner company Graver, the chemical giant produces resins, polishing compounds, cleansers and filters for the worldwide nuclear industry.
Samsung, Builder of nuclear power plants in South Korea and for export, including the Middle East, in partnership with Toshiba, which built reactor No.5 at Fukushima.
P&G: Proctor & Gamble directors Alan G. Laffley is a board member of GE and James McNerney Jr. is a retired top-ranking GE executive.
Omega: The Swiss watchmaker uses its precision timing technology for monitoring instruments used inside nuclear power plants.
McDonalds: Board member Enrique Hernandez is CEO of Inter-Con Security, which provides armed guards for Southern California Edison's San Onofre reactors and other nuclear plants.
It’s no wonder then that Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics, when the voting was actually a litmus test for “nuclear safety”. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics bid was an obvious opportunity for corporate deal-making and personal bribery toward an overarching interest in the expansion of the global nuclear industry.
One of Nobusuke Kishi’s legacies was his drive to win the nation’s first Olympics host bid as part of a publicity campaign to gain international reacceptance of Japan as a world power. Three years after Kishi’s forced resignation, Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda realized his mentor’s dream.
Kishi employed the persuasive services of JOC chief Tsunekazu’s father, Tsuneyoshi who was then known as Prince Takeda. to win international support for the 1964 bid. A dashing figure in the equestrian contests at the Berlin Olympics, he later used his skills at horsemanship as a cavalry officer in Manchuria. The Imperial Army’s cavalry units in northern China recruited Mongol and Machu riders, and one of their famous horseback tactics was to chop off the fingers or hands of passersby with a sword and ride off with their gold rings and bracelets, while tossing away the body parts. After war’s end, the American Occupation command discovered much to their surprise that the vaults at the Bank of Japan were filled with unclaimed jewelry. So many hands had been amputated that the smelters could not separate all the gold into ingots.
Takeda, who knew the gleam of gold, was put in charge of confiscating precious metals from the occupied territories from China to the Philippines, Malaya to Burma. Under his taxation authority, the military police went on a continent-wide rampage of murder and robbery, which led to many Midas legends, for instance, of the Marcos gold. Despite his participation in the chemical gassing of prisoners in Manchuria and plague-and-virus attacks against Chinese cities, Takeda evaded the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal because Unit 731 was inducted into the U.S. military biowarfare program.
Instead, his postwar years were spent at his horse-breeding ranch in Chiba, where there was plenty of land for holes to hide his war loot. When called up by his wartime colleague Kishi, who had financed Japan’s nuclear bomb program at Konan Island in Korea, the prince put part of his riches at the service of the national drive to host the 1964 Games, which symbolically put behind past destruction and enabled the Japanese government to revive its nuclear program.
Before the Olympics, Kishi visited Britain to examine the site of its first nuclear reactor and managed to enact the Basic Atomic Law, despite domestic opposition due to the still-fresh memories of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The only way to win parliamentary approval was to spend the necessary money on buying votes in the Diet. His grandson is following suit by having the Bank of Japan print so many yen notes that nobody can really keep count.
Kishi also unveiled the Shinkansen bullet train, an electric rail system designed to be powered by nuclear energy. In the 1960s, nuclear energy was still in its infancy, untested in its cost benefit and safety risks. His enthusiasm was much more motivated by the joint Nazi-militarist atomic bomb project codenamed BUND-1 than by any promise of “cheap and safe power”.
In line with his family tradition, Abe has enthusiastically supported his grandfather’s quest for a Japanese nuclear arsenal. More than the quake or tsunami, secret weapons activity at Fukushima was the cause of the March 2011 explosions, fires and fuel meltdowns. Fukushima was not an accident; the meltdown was a logical outcome of illegal nuclear-weapons production, a constitutional crime far worse than anything that preceded the Berlin Olympics.
As put by German philosopher Hegal: History always repeats itself, the first time as a tragedy and the second as a farce. One thing is clear: The buffoon Abe and his pro-nuclear allies are only fooling themselves in this black comedy, which is destined to careen into further disaster. The only act that can follow the follies of the Radioactive Tokyo Games is if Ukraine prepares a bid to host the 2024 Chernobyl Olympics.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong-based science writer, is former editor of the Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo.
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