Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe is putting disaster prevention on top of his to-do list for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The newly-elected governor of Japan’s capital went to meet with the International Olympic Committee to guarantee his commitment in making the Olympic preparations, left by his predecessor who resigned after being involved in a financial scandal, successful and flawless.
With the memory of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster still fresh on everyone’s mind three years after it happened, Masuzoe is focused on preparing an 2020 Olympic protection plan. “There are so many challenges but my highest priority is the possibility of a disaster,” he said. Further adding that, “The worst thing that one can think of is a disaster right in the middle of the Games. So, for me, disaster prevention and disaster mitigation plans are very important.”
The new governor met with IOC president Thomas Bach to introduce himself. “His concern was he had to identify what kind of person I was – who is this new guy, this new governor,” described Masuzoe of his meeting with Bach. “We met, we talked in German at least half of the time and I think the worry he had must have been dispelled,” he added. Bach is very hands-on when it comes to Olympics preparations and desires seamless cooperation between Games organizers and the government of the host nation. In one incident, Bach travelled all the way to Brazil prior heading to Sochi as preparations for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics are behind schedule.
The economic growth Japan is experiencing now will help finance the Olympics. The country last hosted the Summer Games in 1964. “The health of the Japanese economy is important,” said Masuzoe. “We have come out of the recession and this economic growth is very important and as governor I want to sustain this momentum,” he further stated. The new governor, fluent in French, German and English has no problem communicating with the international world of sports politics. “For any politician, outspoken or not, it is delivery that is important. Outcome is everything. If you cannot produce results, you are disqualified,” he said.
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