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Emergency Statement Regarding the Japan Sports Council's Shutdown of Meiji Park

An Emergency Statement Regarding the Japan Sports Council's Shutdown of Meiji Park on January 27th

01/28/2016

January 28th, 2016

Kazumi Ohigashi, Senior Director of the Japan Sport Council


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Skiers and Associated Press just can't understand the problem with cutting down forests!

It's embarrassing to see how poor mainstream media has been in reporting or rather in failing to report the destruction of forests for the latest Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang2018 and Beijing2022. In the case of Beijing2022 not even one article seems to have been written on the subject. The alarm had been raised on Chinese social media and was followed up by Terry Townshend, a British birder living in Beijing writing on his own birding blog. But apart from a specialist paper like Nature Western media paid no attention to the possible damage to the forest on the site even though there was considerable and sensible discusion about the merits of the Beijing bid. In the case of Pyeongchang2018 there doesn't seem to have been any coverage until the Guardian got round to writing a very good article, but almost a year after the forest had been cut down! In January 2013 Games Monitor featured the work of a South Korean environmmental group, The Good Friends to Nature, who warned of the threat to Mount Gariwang and publicised further warnings and actions, including a one man protest in Seoul by a Korean Environmentalist, through to its destruction in the autumn of 2014.

Now as the first test runs are held at Mount Gariwang the Associated Press has leapt into action with a syndicated article representing the position of the skiers who make out that they are puzzled by the controversy surrounding the mountain and the cutting down of an important part of the forest. The organisers insist the restoration plans are still in play despite the ridicule heaped on them by environmentalists as both our article and the Guardian's article make clear. In the Guardian Green Korea is reported as saying:

“The organising committee will perhaps argue that they will replant around 300 trees, but all of them apart from those 181 bigger trees belong to small species under two metres in height. It is difficult to imagine that they plan to replant trees that represent the ecological properties of Mount Gariwang. We think their attitude is patronising.”


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Tokyo2020 protests continue against eviction of homeless from Meiji Park

The protests against the eviction of homeless people from Meiji Park for the Tokyo2020 Olympics continue without any reports in the mainstream media outside Japan. It is hard to say how much is being reported in Japan. As of today the protests which started on 27th January 2016 are in their fourteenth day. Below are tweets from @noolympicsevict now telling the story in English.


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Protest against eviction of homeless in Meiji Park for Tokyo2020

It's an old Olympics story. Evictions are one of the less observed Olympic sports. In Tokyo it is estimated that up 2,000 households face eviction. In addition, when the Olympics come to town homeless people are among those who are shoved out of the way as in Atlanta where homeless people were simply put on buses and taken out of the city. Meiji Park is the site of Tokyo's Olympic stadium so the homeless people who have been living in the Park for years now face being evicted by the forces of the State. Matters have come to a head as the tweets below demonstrate....


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An equestrian return at Greenwich?

Was this an attempt to get a further equestrian event held at Greenwich following London2012? On 5th December 2015 Greenwich Council applied to itself for a licence to hold events on the Circus Field in Blackheath, see attachment. Among the events that could be held, under Section 5, were 'Tournaments, competitions and sporting displays'.


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Learning from London: The other side of the Olympics - a film from Hamburg

A film by Hamburg filmmaker Marlene Wynants on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics - in English with German subtitles


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They're doing it again - Forest at Beijing Nature Reserve to be cut down for Beijing2022

They are at it again. The International Olympic Committee, which allegedly considers the Environment to be its Third Dimension, having already cut down the sacred forest at Mount Gariwang for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is about to repeat this vandalism at the Songshan National Nature Reserve for the Winter Olympics at Beijing in 2022. The news was met with opposition on Chinese social media. One concerned ecologist, Wang Xi, who recently received his PhD and works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, overlaid the map of the Nature Reserve with an image of the proposed ski run.

Songshan National Nature Reserve by Wang XiSongshan National Nature Reserve by Wang Xi

However, postings by objectors like doctoral student Lei Gu and Wang Xi on Weibo are said to be no longer available and, typically under these circumstances, neither the Olympic authorities in China nor the IOC would comment on the reports.

A British bird watcher and environmentalist, Terry Townshend, wrote about the Nature Reserve:

'The slopes below this peak contain many rare species, including Beijing’s only Shanxi orchids (Cypripedium shanxiense), not to mention the breeding habitat of several endangered and range restricted birds including Grey-sided Thrush (Turdus feae), Chinese (Green-backed) Flycatcher (Ficedula elisae), Chinese Thrush (Turdus mupinensis) and “Gansu” Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus). And it was in late May this year that I enjoyed a fantastic afternoon’s birding at this site with visiting Dick Newell, Rob Joliffe and Lyndon and Hilde Kearsley (here for the Swift project), during which time we encountered 7 species of phylloscopus warbler – Chinese Leaf, Claudia’s Leaf, Eastern Crowned, Hume’s Leaf, Pallas’s Leaf, Yellow-browed and Yellow-streaked as well as brief views of Grey-sided Thrush and ‘heard only’ Slaty-backed Flycatcher and White-throated Rock Thrush.'


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Danger of default on Government Olympic debt to communities as campaigners mark ‘three year anniversary of shame’

News Release
For immediate release [12/8/2015]

Danger of default on Government Olympic debt to communities as campaigners mark ‘three year anniversary of shame’

Three years on from the end of London 2012 and £425 million in raided lottery cash owed to charities and communities across the UK has not been repaid, and the new Government has gone silent on the issue.


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