POSTED: February 6th 2009

Legacy is Tokyo 2016 target

Tokyo: a clean, green message / Image: Tokyo2016
Tokyo: a clean, green message / Image: Tokyo2016

KEIR RADNEDGE and LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TOKYO/LONDON: Tokyo bid leaders are well aware of the significance of legacy issues when the IOC decides next autumn on which city will host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Japanese city competes in Copenhagen against bids from Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro and Senior Executive Officer Yosuke Fujiwara is confident with the power of Tokyo’s arguments on environmental, disability and educational and issues.

A high level of concern for environmental health and wellbeing featured already in the ambitious, 10-year Big City Plan which the Tokyo city government launched in 2006.

Fujiwara said: “Tokyo has set itself the goal of becoming the global centre with the least impact on the environment, especially with regards to the reduction of carbon dioxide to avoid greenhouse effect.

“This will be the biggest legacy from the Games which would last even beyond the 10-year project. Our aim is to reduce co2 emissions by 25pc by 2020 compared with levels in 2000. This will be a great gift for the future not only for Japan but for the entire globe.”

Barrier-free project

A specific issue which is also a personal issue for Fujiwara is in plotting “the biggest legacy” in making to make Tokyo a barrier-free city in terms of accessibility.

He said: “The city government is upgrading public facilities in all rail and subway stations for handicapped persons to install elevators or escalators which are wheelchair friendly and all rail and subway stations in Tokyo will have a visually-impaired guide by 2010. Barrier-free does not mean only wheelchair access but also access for visually impaired people or audio impaired people.”

In this context the legacy is not merely the practical facilities but also the education of Japan’s youth.

Paralympic awareness

Fujiwara explained: “The aim is partly a spiritual and/or mental one so that our young people so that they will become more aware of disabled or handicapped people. I’m pretty sure that awareness of disability will be raised by the Paralympic Games.

“Certainly, from my own point of view, the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 gave me such an awareness. It was the first time I had heard the phrase so I’m pretty sure the 2016 Games can leave a spiritual legacy about this issue for today’s young people.”

The Tokyo bid team has already launched powerful and wide-ranging youth education programmes through schools and colleges to instruct young people in the values of the Olympic movement and also include a guide to a practical, healthy-living ethos which can be developed in combating obesity issues.

Hence the Tokyo slogan: “Uniting Our World.”

Keywords · 2016 Olympic Games · Tokyo · Fujiwara · Japan · IOC · International Olympic Committee · Copenhagen

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