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Tokyo Olympic 2020 should be postponed to autumn!

Latest Update: 19 September 2018

I have ever written so many times, I strongly disagree with the period of the Tokyo Olympic 2020 in late July to early August. Tokyo Olympic 2020 should be given up, or moved up to the golden-week of May, or prolonged to late September and early October. However, since many organizations, athletes and other people already prepared for Tokyo Olympic 2020, giving-up option makes many people too disappointed. Moving-up option is actually impossible. Therefore, only possible option is the postponement to late September and early October. I will explain the reason why I think so below.

First of all, Tokyo should not raise hands for Olympic

First of all, hosting Olympic-games in Tokyo has no rationality at all. When Mr. Shintaro Ishihara was the Tokyo Metropolitan governor, he first began to annouce the candidacy of Tokyo Metropolis for hosting Olympic-games. Actually Tokyo raised the hands to 2016 Olympic games, then the PM Yukio Hatoyama went to give speech of candidacy of Tokyo to IOC in 2009, when I wrote that PM Hatoyam's speech was just a waste of time because Tokyo has no possibility to win (in Japanese). The reasons why I thought no possibility of nomination are, severe traffic jams due to the combination of poor road situation and high population density (actually movement within Tokyo can be done faster by bicycle than by car or bus) and poor air quality (in Japanese). In such place, it is fundamentally wrong to gather more people than usual. Thus, Tokyo is not suitable for any big sports-event.

Due to the reasons that unicentral investment exclusively to Tokyo should be avoided and that any sports-event under the extraordinay hot environment in Tokyo makes athletes sick or injured, one of the famous journalists, Mr. Hiroshi Kume has continuously expressed contrary opinions against Tokyo Olympic 2020 (in Japanese), including the option of postponement to October. I completely feel compassion with him. However, most journalists and politicians don't express any objections against Tokyo Olympic 2020 summer. Though in 2015, the parliament member, ex-professional wrestler, Mr. Antonio Inoki also insisted the necessity of postponement to October and discussed with Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology, Mr. Shimomura (in Japanese), he may give up, due to the dialogues with wrestling related professionals held in this year (in Japanese).

By the way, according to the speech by Mr. Naoki Inose, who was the vice governor of Tokyo at the time when Mr. Ishihara was the governor (in Japanese), PM Yukio Hatoyama was not willing to go to Copenhagen where IOC meeting has been held, but persuaded to go by Mr. Inose. When I heard Mr. Inose's speech, I wrote as "hosting Olympic games at Tokyo has no rationality nor cause". I'm sure that I have continuously resisted Tokyo Olympic. When Tokyo promoted to be a candidate of 2020 Olympic games in 2013, I wrote Tokyo should not use Ms. Sara Takanashi for the promotion act of Olympic (in Japanese), Tokyo should prioritize cleaning air including tackling pollen allergy, safe environment for children, and controlling ongoing rubella outbreak over hosting Olympic games (in Japanese). However, considering the conditions for hosting Olympic games, I thought no possibility of Tokyo being nominated, so that I wrote Tokyo should take action to control rubella outbreak same as Wakayama prefecture, not looling for an impossible dream of hosting Olympic games (in Japanese).

I didn't imagine that Japan told big lies.

However, the reality went far beyond my imagination. Other candidate cities gave up one after another, but Tokyo (Japanese government, Japan Olympic Committee, and the invitation committee) spent huge amount of money, then told big lies such as "the radiation contaminated water from Fukushima atomic power station was completely under control" (in fact, even in March 2016, more than 530,000 Bq/hour radiation contaminated water has been excreted (in Japanese), sea pollution still remains at considerable level (in Japanese), the situation was far different from "under control"), and "With many days of mild and sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best." (Source: The article of Litera (in Japanese), the article of Japan Times in June 2014, in fact, not mild but too hot, as well known), then at the final presentation, "O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi" performance by Ms. Christel Takigawa made Tokyo win to host the 2020 Olympic games (cf. the article of Japan Times in 3rd February 2018). Probably the scenario was written by Dentsu (biggest ad company in Japan), who didn't imagine what would actually happen in July-August Olympic games in Tokyo.

Indeed, my true hope is Tokyo giving up the Olympic games 2020, and that Olympic games should say goodbye to commercialism and take place at Athens forever (in Japanese). However, now we are at only 2 years before 2020, therefore giving up the Olympic 2020 may cause too many people including athletes troublesome, so that I think the Tokyo Olympic 2020 should be postponed to late September or October. In addition to the problems indicated by Mr. Hiroshi Kume, my biggest worry is the possibility of catastrophic situation caused by the outbreak of heatstroke and overcapacity of emergency medicine.

Late July to early August is impossible, if we consider a possible collapse of emergency medicine system

As I wrote in late May 2017 (in Japanese), the average of daily maximum temperatures in Tokyo during August is 32 degree Celsius, which may probably correspond to 28 degree WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) or higher, which means the high risk environment for vigorous exercise to be suspended. Therefore, first of all, top athletes may suffer from heatstroke. In addition, there are many audience including overseas travellers who are not accustomed to Japan's hot summer. They may easily suffer from heatstroke, then emergency transportation, which increases every August, must largely increase more than usual year, subsequently the system of emergency medicine in Tokyo will collapse. The collapse of emergency medicine system will result in the extraordinary rise of mortality. Even if we know such high risk of collapse, forcing to have Olympic games in hot summer is nothing but a mass-suicide. I have submitted the e-mail thatJuly and August are the peak of bacteria caused food intoxication, which worsen the risk of collapse (in Japanese), only one person replied. I have also ever writtein that the shift of time of marathon to early morning may not solve the problem, because Tokyo's ambient temperature is sometimes more than 30 degree Celsius (in Japanese). Last month, I made objection to July-August Olympic in Tokyo again (in Japanese).

Of course, regardless with volunteer (as Mr. Ryu Honma, the author of "Black Volunteer" (in Japanese), has indicated for several years (in Japanese), in such a commercialized event with huge money from sponsers, unpaid jobs under the beautiful name of "volunteer" seem guilty) or paid workers, support staffs are at highest risk of heatstroke, because they may continue to work under severe high temperature and humidity due to their consciousness of responsibility, even if they feel ill. I cannot imagine how many patients need emergency medical treatment.

Based on the fact that the staff has a high risk of heat stroke, there is a great difference between volunteer (including with reward) and employee. The employee, who is employed by any "Business" and receives wages, is protected by the Labor Standards Act (1947) and the Industrial Safety and Health Act (1972). If the employee suffers from heat stroke during the activity related to Olympic games, the disease can be considered as industrial accident, thus to be covered by the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance (hereafter IACI). If so, all medical expenses are compensated and rehabilitation is also supported. On the contrary, the volunteer is completely voluntary activity and thus not protected at all. The volunteer has to be responsible for everything related to the activity by oneself. Therefore, the volunteer is not regulated by the Labor Standards Act, with no limitation of long hours work. If the volunteer suffers from heat stroke, the one has to pay medical expense by oneself. If the volunteer has a sequela after heat stroke, which forces the one to leave or retire from the one's job, such situation may be also one's own responsibility. The news say hundreds of employees of the official sponser companies are marshalled for the "volunteer" of Tokyo Olymic, the employees must not be the "volunteer" with so-called volunteer-leave. If the sponser companies force the employees to be the staff of Olympic, it should be done as work orders. By doing so, heat stroke can be treated under the framework of industrial accident. The heat stroke is, in fact, very dangerous disease. The patient of heat stroke with severity level 2 or 3 has to be hospitalized as soon as possible, otherwise the one is at high risk of death or severe sequela. From the perspective of public health, the risk of heat stroke without insurance nor compensation cannot be overlooked.

Japan Association for Acute Medicine (JAAM) announced Urgent suggestion to prevent heatstroke (in Japanese). Major contents were similar to Japanese Society of Biometeorology (JSB)'s "Guideline to prevent heatstroke in daily life 3rd ed." (in Japanese) and "Manual for environmental health on heatstroke" (in Japanese) by the Ministry of the Environment, unfortunately. I wish that the suggestion from JAAM should include the risk estimation of possible increase of ambulance dispatch and subsequent burden for emergency medicine system, under the very hot and humid condition. If possible, they should state the necessity of postponement of Tokyo Olympic 2020 to late September and October, considering the worst scenario. JAAM must have data to show the realistic situation. Of course, such projection should be first done by the cooperation among the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Technology. It's government's responsibility to show the risk projection and suggestion to prevent human-caused disaster. It's very sorry that they may not play such roles, but the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare should take the leading role in this issue.

I hope to avoid the tragic future such as shortage of hospital capacity to accept emergency patients, and, more tragic, disturbed accessibility to medical facilities due to traffic jam and overcrowded transportation. If the Tokyo Olympic 2020 will be held in July to August as currently planned, I am truly afraid of such tragedy. If IOC will allow, it's possible to postpone the timing of Tokyo Olympic 2020 until late September and October, when the temperature will go down and the risk of heatstroke will also decrease, if Japan pay enough compensation to USA and European television network. I think that the sports event, under the top priority on commercialism, is not allowed to execute if there will be thousands of victims of heatstroke or patients who get insufficient medical treatment due tot the collapse of emergency medical system, because it's preventable if the timing is prolonged to late September and October.

To change the situation, for instance, Tokyo Olympic 2020 organizing committee may officially apologize to IOC as "We told lies at the time of nomination in 2013, but in fact, the environment in late July and August at Tokyo is too hot to execute any big sports event. If we dare to execute Olympic/Paralympic games in current schedule, thousands of heatstroke victims including athletes, audience and residents who cannot get proper medical treatment due to the possible collapse of emergency medical systems, subsequently there will be considerable number of patients dying. If we have such tragic situation, the long history of Olympic gamses will be stigmatized and the Olympic/Paralympic images will be destroyed. Thus it's impossible to conduct the Tokyo Olympic 2020 in the current schedule. Since we are willing to pay any amount of compensation to IOC, and the television networks of USA and Europe if necessary, we would like you to allow us to prolong the timing of the games until late September and October." The World Partners (only 13 companies in the world, which are the top sponsors) of IOC include the Coca-Cola bottlers and three Japanese companies (Panasonic, Toyota and Bridgestone), and I think such top companies' way of thinking is reasonable, so that they can understand the necessity of changing schedule.

I truly wish the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic to late September or October.

[31st July 2018, cited from 23rd July 2018's Hiyodori-ki (bulbul record, in Japanese) and reformed and translated. On 19th September, added a paragraph about the insurance and medical security. My English writing is not sophisticated, so that any suggestion to brush up is welcome.]

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