Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics Bid Means Deja Vu Eviction for Kohei Jinno

One Japanese resident wants nothing to do with the 2020 Japan Summer Olympic Games.

In 1964, Kohei Jinno was evicted because his home and business were going to be torn down to make way for the main stadium for the Tokyo Games.

The now 79-year-old tobacco shop owner is facing another eviction all in the name of the Olympics. Jinno’s home and shop must be destroyed for the stadium’s redevelopment and expansion in time for 2020.

“I don’t want to see the Olympics at all,” Jinno told the Japan Times. “Deep inside, I have a kind of grudge against the Olympics.”

After his first eviction, Jinno took up car-cleaning work to survive, earning enough to rent a small room for his family of four. It wasn’t until 1966 that Jinno found somewhere he could call home permanently.

Jinno now lives in a flat and runs a tobacco shop in a small market at the Kasumigaoka apartment complex. The complex holds 200 households, where a third of the residents are 70 or older and now must move somewhere else.

The city is offering those residents spaces in three other municipal apartment complexes. But this isn’t good enough for Jinno.

“Probably I may go where you cannot set up a tobacco shop,” he said. “That means I will lose my reason for living,” he said.

The first time Tokyo hosted the Olympics, it gave the country a chance to rise from the ashes from the warfare and devastation it suffered during World War II. This time around, the 2020 Summer Games marks another wave of anticipation for the construction industry and redevelopment.

The capital plans to spend around $4 billion dollars on Olympics-related facilities, including the athletes’ village and media centers. Road repairs will cost approximately $5.5 billion.

The city’s main attraction will be the 80,000 seat main stadium, complete with a retractable roof at a cost of $1.3 billion.

But Jinno thinks the billions of dollars being spent on the Olympics would be better spent in the northeast, the site of the 2011 tsunami.

“I feel very upset because they will spend a lot of money on the new stadium after decades of pouring taxpayers’ money into the old stadium to maintain something that is only used a few times a year,” he said.

Source: Japan Times


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