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Trash Islands: The Olympic Games and Japan’s Changing Environment

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Trash Islands:The Olympic Games and Japan’s Changing Environment
Speaker: Robin Kietlinski, Associate Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York

Published in: Education
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Trash Islands: The Olympic Games and Japan’s Changing Environment

  1. 1. Trash Islands: The Olympic Games and Japan’s Changing Environment TEMPLE UNIVERSITY JAPAN SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 ROBIN KIETLINSKI, PH.D. CUNY – LAGUARDIA CC 2018 AAS Annual Meeting / Washington D.C.
  2. 2. From Edo, the City that Became Tokyo: An Illustrated History, by Naito and Hozumi
  3. 3. From Edo, the City that Became Tokyo: An Illustrated History, by Naito and Hozumi
  4. 4. Photos from 1955
  5. 5. Tokyo Bay 1956
  6. 6. 1590 1850
  7. 7. 1869
  8. 8. 1921
  9. 9. 1935 1950 1960 1970 Images from 東京湾史
  10. 10. Tokyo Bay Timelapse (from Minatorie Tokyo Port Museum)
  11. 11. Morning Sea at Omori, Kiyochika,1880
  12. 12. Tokyo Bay today
  13. 13. 16 Venues in Tokyo Bay 1. Ariake Arena (volleyball) 2. Gymnastics center 3. BMX course 4. Ariake Tennis Park 5. Odaiba Marine Park (marathon swim) 6. Shiokaze Park (beach volleyball) 7. Aomi Urban Sports Venue (3x3 basketball and climbing) 8. Seaside Park (field hockey) 9. Sea Forest Waterway (canoe/kayak sprint) 10. Sea Forest Cross Country Course (equestrian eventing) 11. Canoe Slalom Course 12. Yumenoshima Archery Field 13. Olympics Aquatic Center (swimming, diving, artistic swimming) 14. Tatsumi Swimming Center (water polo) 15. Makuhari Messe Hall A (taekwondo, wrestling) 16. Makuhari Messe Hall B (fencing)
  14. 14. Central Question: Are rhetorical efforts highlighting Japan’s cutting-edge sustainability measures useful and constructive, or are they distractions from serious damage that large-scale Olympic land reclamation projects might have on the 30+ million inhabitants of Tokyo? Three main topics: 1. Japan and the Olympics 2. The Olympics and the environment 3. Tokyo’s land reclamation projects (“trash islands”)
  15. 15. Japan and the Olympics 1896: First Modern Olympic Games 1909: First Japanese (and non-European/American) member of the IOC (Kanō Jigorō) 1912: First Japanese male participants in the Olympics 1928: First Japanese female participant in the Olympics 1936: Japan is the first Asian country to win the bid to host Olympics 1964: Japan is the first Asian country to host the Summer Olympics 1972: Japan is the first Asian country to host the Winter Olympics
  16. 16. Berlin 1936 Triple jump medal podium: Jesse Owens (gold) Luz Long (silver) Tajima Naoto (bronze)
  17. 17. Japan’s Bids to Host the Games Tokyo 1940 (Summer-cancelled) Sapporo 1940 (Winter-cancelled) Tokyo 1960 (Summer) Tokyo 1964 (Summer) Sapporo 1968 (Winter) Sapporo 1972 (Winter) Sapporo1984 (Winter) Nagoya 1988 (Summer) Nagano 1998 (Winter) Osaka 2008 (Summer) Tokyo 2016 (Summer) Tokyo 2020 (Summer)
  18. 18. Green Games 1972 (Sapporo): Minimizing environmental damage first mentioned in IOC rhetoric 1976: Winter Olympics awarded to Denver are relocated to Innsbruck, Austria after environmentalist-led protest 1990s: IOC forms stronger links with United Nations and after 1992 UN “Earth Summit,” IOC adopts official sustainability rhetoric 1992: IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch declares his wish to “put the Olympic Games at the service of the quest for excellence, solidarity, and respect of the environment. United by and for sport, the Olympic Movement can and must mobilize itself to make its contribution to the protection of the planet Earth and the wellbeing of mankind.”
  19. 19. Tokyo 1964: Early environmental concern
  20. 20. Improving trash, rivers, and roads
  21. 21. Tokyo Monorail, 1964 (Source: Kyodo News)Expressway construction in Tokyo, 1963 (Source: AP)
  22. 22. Nihonbashi ◦ 1838 Hiroshige print ◦ 1960 ◦ Today
  23. 23. Tokyo and Reclaimed Land Source: TMG Bureau of Ports and Harbors
  24. 24. Renderings of the permanent Ariake Volleyball and Aquatics Centers, and the “semi-temporary” Ariake Gymnastics Center
  25. 25. Stills from video by the Clean Authority of Tokyo (a Tokyo Metropolitan Government semi-governmental agency managing the collection and processing of waste from Tokyo’s 23 wards)
  26. 26. Toyosu (site of new Fish Market)
  27. 27. Yumenoshima 夢の島 “Dream Island” Site of Shin-Koto Incineration plant and 2020 Archery and Water Polo venues
  28. 28. Yumenoshima 夢の島 1965 1977 1957 Built as a landfill from 1957 Fly and rat infestations in early 1960s Ministry of Health and Welfare sets goal of incinerating 75 percent of garbage by 1971
  29. 29. 1960s Yumenoshima (from Edo-Tokyo Museum)
  30. 30. Harumi Wharf and Chuo Incineration Plant
  31. 31. Tokyo 2020 Sustainability Initiatives 1. Medals made from recycled mobile phone parts 2. Podiums all made from recycled/recovered plastic, then recycled again for use as packaging 3. Torch bearer uniforms made partly from recycled Coca-Cola bottles 4. Olympic torch made from aluminum waste from temporary housing used after March 2011 earthquake 5. Olympic Village plaza built from timber donated from across Japan, and will be re-purposed into public benches across Japan after Games 6. Toyota providing zero-emission vehicles for use during Games 7. Renewable energy used during Olympics (solar, biomass, hydropower)
  32. 32. Conclusions/Further Research Are rhetorical efforts highlighting Japan’s cutting-edge sustainability measures useful and constructive, or are they distractions from serious damage that large-scale Olympic land reclamation projects might have on the 30+ million inhabitants of Tokyo? Efforts can indeed be useful but deserve careful scrutiny (which the Olympics can bring) High environmental standards and economic growth are not incompatible Tokyo Bay development on reclaimed land deserves careful attention especially concerning environmental impact and safety
  33. 33. Source: Mori Memorial Foundation’s Tokyo in 2030: Living and City-Planning in a Super-Aging Society (2012)

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