Yasuhiro Yamashita, JOC President, has misjudged the movement, and the bid for the Olympics is doomed. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yasuhiro Yamashita, JOC President, has misjudged the movement, and the bid for the Olympics is doomed.

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On October 11, after meeting with Sapporo Mayor Akimoto, JOC President Yamashita announced his decision to abandon the bid for the ’30 Games and switch to a bid for the ’34 Games or later. However, only four days later, the IOC General Assembly in India approved the policy of deciding on the two events at the same time next summer.

This was an unprecedented fiasco. The JOC was forced to withdraw from the bidding process for the Winter Olympics because of its exposed lack of information-gathering capabilities.

Originally, the JOC had hoped to bid for the ’30 Sapporo Olympics. However, in order to avoid a public outcry due to corruption at the Tokyo Olympics, the JOC was shifting its focus to the ’34 Olympics, four years later, when the situation would have calmed down. In the midst of this situation, the possibility emerged that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would decide on the host city for the ’30 and ’34 Olympics at the same time. This is a situation that would normally require action to attract the Olympics. However, Yasuhiro Yamashita, 66, president of the JOC, remained optimistic.

In fact, on October 11, Yamashita and Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto attended a press conference where they discussed the possibility that the host cities for the Winter Games in 1930 and 1934 will be decided at the same time, saying , “There is some information to that effect, but it is highly unlikely. When asked if he was making this statement based on the IOC’s intention, Yamashita emphasized his own opinion, saying, “Yes.

However, his prediction turned out to be wrong .He had no idea what the IOC or rival cities such as Salt Lake City (U.S.A.) were up to.

Toshiki Tsuda, a sportswriter who has covered the Olympics for many years, harshly criticized the JOC, saying, “The JOC is not an organization at all.

The JOC has been under the impression that it was trusted by IOC President Bach, and that it was safe to do what it did. To put it simply, it was unrequited love. There was no support, no accurate information, and no analysis. This is the result of not being able to respond to the IOC in a smart way.

Originally, the JOC was only “looking on from a high place,” and it was Dentsu that was actually crawling around on the ground, making the bidding process both clean and dirty.

The JOC was merely a portable shrine, and a light one at that. Haruyuki Takahashi, former senior managing director of Dentsu, who was the instigator of the bidding activities, was accused in a scandal, and the company has kept him away. The JOC is an organization that cannot do anything without being set up. I don’t think there is anyone who has the moxie to get inside the other party’s chest, just to get to know them on the surface,” said Tsuda.

They do not have the knowledge to not only gather information, but also to analyze it and make decisions, and the ability to give direction and materialize it in practical terms. If they had possessed even a little of these, this fiasco would not have occurred.

The fact that the Olympics will not be held in Sapporo in 1934, let alone 1930, has become a hopeless possibility, and many of the Japanese people who are allergic to the idea of hosting the Olympics in Japan are probably feeling relieved inside. In fact, a public opinion poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun prior to the Sapporo mayoral election on April 9 this year showed that 38% of respondents were “in favor” of Sapporo hosting the Winter Olympics, while the number of “against” votes was much higher at 47%.

However, those involved in the sports industry in Sapporo were very disappointed.

I’ve heard a lot about it, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad,” said one Sapporo sports official. But we have no choice but to rely on the JOC. I feel betrayed. I am furious that Chairman Yamashita is making comments as if he were talking about someone else’s business.

What do people overseas involved in the Olympics think of the news?

Yamashita is a gold medalist in judo and a samurai among samurai. Yamashita is a gold medalist in judo and a samurai among samurai, and I am sure he understands how to take responsibility for his blunder without being pointed out by a third party. I received an e-mail from him saying, ‘I want you to show me your resolve. I think he is trying to say that it is time for him to show his integrity because he respects Chairman Yamashita. I think he is absolutely right.

Already, we are hearing calls for the “dismantling of the JOC. What is needed to start over from scratch is a personnel shakeup of the president and other executives. The international situation is becoming increasingly tense, with the Ukraine and Russia, Israel and Palestine, and so on. With less than a year to go before next year’s Paris Olympics, the question of whether or not a festival of peace can be held only deepens.

If nothing is done, the JOC will be left behind. At no time is its raison d’etre more in question than now.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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