Olympics: No joy for two-time Tokyo Games evictee

Olympics: No joy for two-time Tokyo Games evictee

TOKYO - Tokyo's successful bid to host the Olympics made much of plans to re-use venues built for Japan's last Summer Games. But for Kohei Jinno, redevelopment for 2020 means eviction again - just like for 1964.

While much of Japan celebrated Tokyo's victory at last week's meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires 79-year-old, Jinno was cursing his luck.

In 1964, his home and business were torn down to make way for an Olympic park around the main stadium for the Tokyo Games. Now he has been told he must move again to make way for the stadium's redevelopment and expansion in time for 2020.

"I don't want to see the Olympics at all," Jinno told AFP. "Deep inside, I have a kind of grudge against the Olympics."

The first Tokyo Games marked Japan's arrival as a modern country with a roaring economy. They were a chance for Tokyo to shine.

Futuristic Olympic venues shot up all over Tokyo as a "bullet train" was built, along with a metropolitan highway network and an airport monorail.

The energy and symbolism could not be missed: Japan had risen from the ashes of World War II.

The 2020 edition is sparking another orgy of infrastructure investment, albeit on a smaller scale, but still providing a boon to Japan's construction industry.

The capital plans to spend around 400 billion yen (US$4 billion) on Olympics-related facilities, including the athletes' village and media centres.

Of 35 Olympic sites in Tokyo, 20 will be newly built - mostly on the city's fast developing waterfront - for such sports as swimming, basketball and hockey.

Roads will be built or repaired at a cost of US$5.5 billion. Some 85 per cent of venues will be located within eight kilometres (five miles) of the $1.1 billion "Olympic Village" which will be constructed on landfill not far from the upscale Ginza district.

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