Tokyo Olympics faces difficulties with sweltering heat, Fukushima radiation
  • 4 years ago
The Tokyo Olympics are less than a year away,... but the global sporting event is already being plagued by difficulties.
Tokyo's notoriously hot and humid summer has prompted the International Olympic Committee to move the marathon to a cooler part of Japan for the safety of the participants.
Choi Jeong-yoon reports.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 24th to August 9th next year.
At that time of the year, highs in the Japanese capital can hit a sweltering 40 degrees Celsius.
During the same period this year, around 50 people died due to the intense heat and thousands were hospitalized.
In order to protect athletes from the scorching heat, the International Olympic Committee has announced plans to shift the location of the marathon and the walking races to Sapporo, Hokkaido, a cooler northern island in Japan.
Some 800 kilometers north of Tokyo, the region is, on average, five degrees Celsius cooler than the capital.
The IOC's sudden announcement is causing headaches for the 2020 organizers as they had already scheduled tours taking in spots along the original marathon course and had been preparing to promote it worldwide.
"The plan to move those events from Tokyo to Sapporo was a bit of surprise. To be honest, we only received this news several days ago."
There are also growing concerns about radiation.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe previously insisted the crippled Fukushima power plant was nothing to worry about when Tokyo was bidding for the Games in 2013.
However, with Typhoon Hagibis striking Fukushima, Japan's poor management of the contaminated waste was laid bare.
Despite forecasts predicting torrential downpours, storage was not sufficient to stop an unknown number of bags containing contaminated waste from floating away and disappearing.
Local officials insist the incident will not affect the environment, but half of the bags that were retrieved were found to be empty.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.