Island Disputes Could Harm Japan’s Olympic Hopes

September 13, 2012

The vote to determine the host of the 2020 Olympic Games is less than one year away, and Tokyo’s chances of landing the event could be damaged in light of Japan’s ongoing involvement in island disputes with South Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan.

The ongoing dispute with other countries in the region could affect Tokyo’s bid to host the Olympics for the first time since 1964. The vote to determine the site for the 2020 Games will be held in Buenos Aires on September 7. In the past, the host city has often been determined by five votes or fewer.

Tokyo Governor, Shintaro Ishihara, who was the face of the capital’s failed bid to host the 2016 Games, is now at the forefront of the dispute over the Senkaku Islands. When questioned about whether the problems with regional neighbors could result in Tokyo losing the election, Ishihara said: “I don’t have much [concern].”{jcomments on}