A housewife in Yokohama has submitted a petition she began to the Tokyo government asking that the 2020 Olympics not go ahead with their plans of using a wildlife park as the location for a canoe course for the international sporting event. 40 year old Shizuka Watahiki says she has already gathered around 15,000 signatures, via the online petition site Change.org, in support of protecting the Kasai Rinkai Park.
Watahiki wrote that she does not feel a five-day canoeing event for the Olympics justifies destroying or altering a nature park that has taken 25 years to develop. At a small press conference on Wednesday, she said that the next steps of her plan involve collecting signatures from around the world after translating her petition, and eventually submitting them to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She comments that at this time it seems that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has no plans to change the location of the sporting event.
The Wild Bird Society of Japan has voiced its support for Watahiki’s petition, as the Kasai Rinkai Park, located in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward, is known to be a safe habitat for some 226 species. The environmental group dedicates itself to protecting and preserving wildlife areas for birds across the country.