Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Watch the video: We Are Global Voices!

We report on 167 countries. We translate in 35 languages. We are Global Voices. Watch the video »

Over 800 of us from all over the world work together to bring you stories that are hard to find by yourself. But we can’t do it alone. Even though most of us are volunteers, we still need your help to support our editors, our technology, outreach and advocacy projects, and our community events.

Donate now »
GlobalVoices in Learn more »

Planned Olympic Canoe Racing Course Threatens Tokyo Park

Photo of Kasai Rinkai Park by flickr user Yuichi Sakuraba

Photo of Kasai Rinkai Park by Flickr user Yuichi Sakuraba (CC BY-NC 2.0)

More than 13,000 people have signed a Change.org petition [ja] urging Tokyo governor and the Japanese Olympic Committee not to destroy part of Kasai Rinkai Park to build canoe racing stadium.

Tokyo and the Japanese Olympic Committee plan to build the racing course for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, despite 25 years of concerted effort in the Kasai Rinkai Park to bring back the bio-diversity lost from development and pollution.

The petition organizer describes [ja] the beauty and diversity of the nature in the park:

東京都が世界に誇る都市の中の自然公園です。公園の池や草むらや松林には、野鳥226種、昆虫140種、クモ80種、樹木91種、野草132種、絶滅危惧種に指定されているクロツラヘラサギもいます。多くの家族が憩い、自然とふれあい、サイクリングや散歩道を楽しみ、大都会の疲れを癒しています。

Kasai Rinkai Park is a world-class park in Tokyo. In its pond, grassy areas and pine forest, 226 kinds of wild birds, 140 kinds of insects, 80 kinds of spiders, 91 kinds of trees, and 132 kinds of wild grasses live. You can even see Black-faced Spoonbills, which are listed as an endangered species. Families come here to relieve their stress from city life, and take a walk or bicycle ride to enjoy the nature.

The Wild Bird Society of Japan has submitted a request [ja] in late August to the Tokyo Metropolitan Governor and Japanese Olympic Committee to change the plan to use Kasai Rinkai Park for the canoe racing.

Wildlife and animal journalist Eiki Sato wrote a message to the Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose on his blog [ja]:

葛西臨海公園は、猪瀬さんがよくご存じのように、東京都が 東京湾沿岸の汚染や埋め立てで“破壊された自然環境を再生しようと” 作った公園です。(略) 葛西臨海公園の面積の約半分は、カヌーの競技場とその施設になるという 計画なんですね。 (略) 25年もかかって取り戻した都会の中の切ない大自然。25年ですよ、 一瞬でぶっ壊して大金を使う算段なんですよ。 あの場所に、高さ9メートルの長い長いコンクリの壁でできた1万人導入の観客席の塀、似合わない事は、あなたが一番イメージできてるでしょう。

Dear Govorner Inose, as you may know very well, the Kasai Rinkai Park is a park built by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government with “the aim to rebuild the natural environment of Tokyo that had been destroyed by pollution and artificial land reclamation”. [...] The plan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is that they will use half of the park for a canoeing course and its facilities. [...] With the flick of a pen allocating millions in funding, it will destroy the nature that people have worked so hard to take back over 25 years. Dear Governor, I'm sure you can easily imagine that the park with a canal and nine-meter-high wall of concrete with a capacity of 10,000 spectators will not look right in this particular location.

The post was quickly shared on social media and attracted a lot of attention, driving more than 200,000 traffic hits with 59,000 Facebook recommendations.

You can see under-represented nature of Tokyo photographed by Eiki Sato on his blog [ja].

World regions

Countries

Languages