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Opponents want Olympic money used to rebuild Fukushima via Asahi Shimbun

A group of Japanese and foreigners who oppose the Tokyo Olympics said they want to block the holding of the sporting extravaganza they see as wasteful and destructive.

In a news conference in Tokyo on July 23, the opponents, including scholars, said that the Olympics will destroy the local economy and be a hotbed for corruption.

The opponents included Jules Boykoff, professor of political science at Pacific University, Oregon, who was formerly on the U.S. Olympic soccer team.

On July 22, they visited Fukushima Prefecture, hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident.

Based on the inspection, they said that the Japanese government should use money for reconstruction efforts rather than the Olympics.

The opponents also included Misako Ichimura, 48, a member of “Hangorin no Kai” (Anti-Olympics group).

She said that homeless people were evicted for the construction of the new National Stadium and that people living in Tokyo metropolitan government-run apartments were forced to vacate them.

Ichimura raised an “anti-Olympic torch” that had been passed down by people campaigning against the Olympics.

“We want to terminate the Olympics,” she said.

A woman from Los Angeles, which will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, said the Olympics benefit a small number of major companies that receive money that should be used to support the homeless.

South Korean Park Eun-seon, who was watching the news conference, said that after the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the business environment for local restaurants and hotels there deteriorated.

“I want Japanese to share our experiences. I want them not to repeat the same mistakes,” she said.

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