Fukushima to Host Baseball in 2020 Tokyo Olympics, But Is It Safe? via Fansided

Six years ago an earthquake hit off the coast of Japan. It caused a tsunami to hit Japan’s northeast coast, killing over 18,000 people and sending three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into meltdown.

Fukushima was the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl in 1986, although this one seems to be even worse, sending radiation into the Pacific Ocean.

However, that is not exactly the story here today, but the effects of the leaked radiation are certainly part of it.

It was announced earlier this year, but not widely reported, that baseball and softball tournaments during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be held at Azuma Stadium in Fukushima.

The stadium is a mere 70 kilometers from the site of the nuclear meltdown


The Tokyo organizing committee believes that holding the events at the Azuma Stadium will help support recovery efforts for the communities affected by the disaster, according to Bloomberg.com.

“By hosting Olympic baseball and softball events, Fukushima will have a great platform to show the world the extent of its recovery in the 10 years since the disaster,” Tokyo 2020 president and former prime minister Yoshiro Mori said in the statement.

Yet, if the cleanup of the mess is supposed to take multiple decades, how can anyone know if it is safe to have Olympic caliber athletes or even spectators in the area?

The president of the World Baseball Softball Federation, Riccardo Fraccari, said that the decision to hold the games in Fukushima Azuma Stadium showed “the power of sport to shape a better world.”

However, baseball will not be cleaning up the nuclear mess, so how is it helping “shape a better world?” In a way, it could be shaping a more dangerous one.

There are still high levels of radiation in the groundwater and soil that affects the local produce, and that is just one example of what is happening in Japan.


How can we send our athletes and citizens there if even scientists can’t figure out how safe the area is? It just doesn’t seem right, especially according to the latest reports from Tepco.

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