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Gearing up for 2020 Olympics, Japan breaks tourism record

A record number of tourists visited Japan last year, the government said Friday, as the country gears up to welcome the world to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Some 28.7 million foreign tourists entered Japan in 2017, meaning the country has tripled its number of visitors in the past five years amid a massive promotional drive ahead of the Olympics. This was a nearly 20 percent gain on the previous year, driven by Chinese tourists taking advantage of more frequent low-cost flights to Japan. According to figures up to November, Chinese tourists led the way with 6.79 million trips, just ahead of South Korea with 6.46 million. Tokyo has eased visa requirements, expanded...Keep on reading: Gearing up for 2020 Olympics, Japan breaks tourism record.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 12th, 2018

Tokyo Olympic venues make progress with 2 years to go

TOKYO --- The Japan Sports Council gave a progress report on the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, saying the project is 40 percent complete with two years to go before the opening ceremony. Located in central Tokyo, the Olympic Stadium will be the centerpiece of the 2020 Games. The JSC, the government-funded stadium operator, says the 68,000-seat stadium is on schedule to be finished in November 2019. It will host the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020 as well as athletics and the closing ceremony. The construction was more than a year behind schedule when it started in December 2016, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of spiraling cost...Keep on reading: Tokyo Olympic venues make progress with 2 years to go.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Japan s new Airbnb law : a double-edged sword

TOKYO, Japan – Rental platforms like Airbnb are hoping for a boost from a new law coming into force next month in Japan ahead of an expected surge in demand for the 2020 Olympics, but experts warn it could actually hamper business in the short-term. Currently ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Recycling efforts for Olympic medals far from finish line

PHOTO from The Japan News/Asia News Network TOKYO -- Amid efforts to use only recycled metals in the medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, there is growing concern over a shortage of.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

World-record, ultra-thin condom to debut in 2020 Tokyo Games

TOKYO, Japan – Japanese condom makers are ramping up preparations ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, seeing a golden opportunity to showcase their world-record ultra-thin products. For years, hundreds of thousands of condoms have been distributed for free to competitors at Olympic Games in a bid to encourage safe sex ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 21st, 2018

Boxing out?

If you happened to be a fan of amateur boxing in the Olympics, there is a possibility that you will be left disappointed in the next Summer Games in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, if the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) concerns over it are not addressed and decides to push through to scrap the event altogether. […] The post Boxing out? appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

Travelers shattered tourism records around the world in 2017

The numbers are trickling in from tourism offices and it seems that 2017 was a banner year for many parts of the world. Japan posted a record 28.7 million tourist visitors in 2017, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth for the country, reports The Japan Times.Moreover, the record-breaking tourist arrivals in 2017 marks an impressive 20 percent increase from the previous year. Despite the achievement, tourism minister Keiichi Ishii said the country needs to diversify its tourist market, which is dominated by visitors from neighboring Asian countries. He credited the rise to discount flights from South Korea, cruise ships from China and the relaxed visa requirements for...Keep on reading: Travelers shattered tourism records around the world in 2017.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Squat thrust: Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of ‘squat’ toilets

Japan has launched a campaign to convert unpopular Asian-style squat toilets into sit-on “western” models, as the nation prepares to welcome tens of millions of foreign tourists in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The high-tech country is famous for its toilet technology that can bewilder foreign visitors, with features ranging from seat warming… link: Squat thrust: Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of ‘squat’ toilets.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

RP Blu Girls set sights on 2020 Tokyo Olympics

With the return of Softball in the upcoming 2020 Olympics, the Philippines is making a serious run to book a trip to Tokyo. The first step in qualifying for the 2020 Olympics is the 11th Asian Women Softball Championships next week in Taiwan where the RP Blu Girls will compete. Actually, not just compete. Our world no. 17 softball squad will go after a medal. However, it's not going to be easy though. Despite the Blu Girls being ranked fourth best in Asia, three Asian teams belong in the top 10 in the world. Japan is no. 1, China is no. 6, and Taipei is no. 9. All of them will also compete in the Taiwan tournament, not to mention the always-dangerous South Korea who are 26th in the world and fifth in Asia. Still, there is quiet confindence from the Blu Girls after a banner year. "Trying to look at it from the last Asian Games and the last tournaments that we have been playing, we have beaten top-10 teams. I think we can do it," head coach Venerando Dizer said. This year alone, the RP Blu Girls have scored impressive wins over world no. 3 Canada and world no. 4 Australia. The team also already beat Taipei twice. The Blue Girls will open the Asian Championships on November 28 against no. 1 Japan. "We're playing Japan right away, for me, I would rather play them right away so that at least from there, we can adjust to qualify for the playoffs," Dizer said. MISSION POSSIBLE: TOKYO OLYMPICS With the return of softball to the Summer Games, the primary goal for the Blu Girls is to nab one of the six spots available in the quadrennial showcase. And with a team that is described as the country's best in quite some time, the people behind the program are confident that the Blur Girls can make a serios run for it. "You can tell, that even from the 19-under level, our girls are getting ready to move up the world rankings. We are very, very happy to seee the potential of us being a Olympic-level team in the future," Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) president Jean Henri Lhuillier said. "2020 is going to be tough with only six spots, but we're gonna try," he added. "That's the goal."   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2017

Tale of 2 cities: Olympics sponsors in Pyeongchang and Tokyo

em>By Youkyung Lee and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press /em> SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Winter Olympics coming to South Korea in February offer an example of the Olympian efforts often required to meet corporate sponsorship goals. Tokyo tells a different story: The coffers are already overflowing for the 2020 Summer Games. It's a tale of two cities and two Olympics — winter and summer. Pyeongchang is a little-known destination in one of South Korea's poorest provinces. It is the 'little town that could,' bidding twice unsuccessfully for the Winter Olympics before winning on its third try. A final push enabled it to reach its sponsorship target of 940 billion won ($830 million) in September, with just five months to go. Tokyo is an established global capital, and the Summer Games usually generate more excitement — and more money. Organizers have raised 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in sponsorship, twice any previous Olympics. International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates describes it as a remarkable achievement. The divergent experiences of two Asian host cities illustrate the challenges that smaller bidders face, as well as South Korea's dependence on the big family-owned companies that dominate its economy. Not that Tokyo is home-free. The cost of the 2020 Games has nearly doubled from initial projections. As with most Olympics, taxpayers will have to foot a good part of the bill. ___ strong>WHERE 'CHAEBOLS' RULE /strong> Starting with the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea has used mega-events such as the soccer World Cup to raise the profile of the country and its manufacturing exporters. Pyeongchang is different. The project was initiated by local politicians in an area long alienated politically and economically in South Korea's rise to prosperity. Some feared people would confuse the city's name with Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. They couldn't count on the automatic support of the huge family-run conglomerates, known as 'chaebol,' such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG. 'When such mega-events were the nation-state's key project, the chaebol were called on and were expected to become the leading participants,' said Joo Yu-min, a professor at the National University of Singapore who co-authored a book on South Korea's use of mega-events. In the end, the national government brought the conglomerates in, first in the bid process, and then for sponsorship. That underscores both the outsized role they play in the economy and their close ties with government. They owe a debt to special treatment from the government, which in turn used them to industrialize the country after the devastating 1950-53 Korean War. After Pyeongchang's bid was rejected a second time, the government called on Samsung and others to help. The president even pardoned Lee Kun-hee, the patriarch of the Samsung founding family who had been an IOC member but voluntarily suspended his membership after being indicted for tax evasion. The IOC reinstated Lee in 2010 with a reprimand and some restrictions, allowing him to lobby heavily for what became Pyeongchang's winning bid in 2011. It took three years for the organizing committee to sign its first domestic sponsor, KT Corp., the country's second-largest mobile carrier. Again, the national government asked the conglomerates for help. All the major ones signed on, after the office of then-President Park Geun-hye made a special request and multichannel pressures for financial assistance, Joo said. Elsewhere, companies may weigh sponsorship decisions based more on the marketing benefits. 'In South Korea, companies make donations out of a sense of duty that they are being part of the national event,' said Park Dong Min, the executive director overseeing membership at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Sponsors who signed up late weren't willing to give as much, because there was less time to enjoy the marketing benefits. A bank that signed on less than a year before the Games significantly reduced its sponsorship. To top it off, a massive sports-related political corruption scandal rocked South Korea in 2016, just when Pyeongchang was making last-ditch efforts to raise sponsorship. 'Companies showed some reluctance' to sponsor the Olympics, said Eom Chanwang, director of the Pyeongchang organizing committee marketing team. 'Nevertheless, they still joined.' The scandal brought down Park, the president. Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung group, received a five-year sentence for bribery. Lee, who has appealed, had become de facto chief of the Samsung group after his father Lee Kun-hee, the IOC member pardoned in late 2009, fell ill. It was the younger Lee who signed an agreement with IOC President Thomas Bach to extend Samsung Electronics' sponsorship of the Olympics globally through 2020. Samsung declined interviews for this story. With the scandal still fresh in people's minds, major companies have held back from launching full-fledged marketing to promote the Games. 'Samsung traditionally has done consumer marketing through the Olympics, but because its chief is in jail, it cannot do as much these days,' said Kim Do-kyun, a sports professor at Kyung Hee University Graduate School of Physical Education. The Pyeongchang Games were the biggest victim of the scandal, he said. ___ strong>SUMMER OF '64 /strong> The president of Japan's biggest toilet manufacturer was seven years old when the Olympics first came to Japan. TOTO Ltd. made news in 1964 for its prefabricated toilet-and-bath units that helped speed the construction of a luxury hotel, the New Otani, in time for the Games. The company, now known for high-tech toilets that baffle some foreign visitors, is back as a sponsor of Tokyo 2020. 'I feel our company and the Olympics have been bonded by fate,' TOTO president Madoka Kitamura said at a sponsorship signing ceremony at the same hotel last year. The $2.7 billion in sponsorship for Tokyo 2020 is more than three times the original estimate. By comparison, sponsorship revenue was $848 million in Rio de Janeiro last year, and about $1.2 billion for both London 2012 and Beijing 2008. The Winter Olympics typically attract less, though Sochi, Russia, raised $1.2 billion in 2014. Analysts attribute Tokyo's success to both patriotism and a sense of nostalgia for the 1964 Summer Games. They were much more than a sports contest for Japan. They were a moment of pride, marking the country's return as an industrial power after the devastation of World War II and a seven-year U.S. occupation. 'All of Japan still recognizes the unique role that the 1964 Olympics played in Japan's stepping out onto the world stage,' said Michael Payne, a former IOC marketing director who now works as a consultant. 'Many of the CEOs of top Japanese companies would have been young kids back in '64 and are very aware of the role those Games played for the psychological recovery from the Second World War.' They grew up with the high-speed 'Shinkansen' bullet train, inaugurated in 1964; modern expressways and western-style toilets, all symbols of Japan's postwar economic growth. 'Now they have become business leaders, they want to contribute and leave something behind that can be remembered for the next 50 years,' said Masahiko Sakamaki, executive director of marketing for the Tokyo organizing committee. He said that memories of the recovery may have boosted interest in sponsorship, as Japan was still reeling from a deadly 2011 earthquake and tsunami when Tokyo won the bid in 2013. Sakamaki said the organizing committee started receiving sponsorship inquiries as soon as it was established in 2014, before the official start of sponsorship contracts in 2015. There is so much interest that the IOC is allowing Tokyo to have multiple sponsors in some categories, instead of the usual one, including in aviation, newspaper publishing, electronics and banking. TOTO officials won't say how much they are contributing, but media reports say companies in its sponsorship category give between 6 billion and 15 billion yen ($53 million to $133.5 million). Tokyo 2020 wouldn't comment on those reports. 'We believe our presence as part of an all-Japan effort toward a successful Olympics will enhance our favorable brand image,' said Mariko Shibasaki, the company's senior planner for sports communication. Thanks in part to robust sponsorship revenue, the organizing committee has increased its contribution to the cost of the games from 500 billion to 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion). The sponsorship revenue makes up half of the income in the privately-run organizing committee's operating budget. Other revenue comes from the International Olympic Committee, marketing and ticket sales. The overall cost of the Tokyo Olympics is estimated at 1.4 trillion yen (12.4 billion) with the Tokyo government shouldering 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) and the remaining 200 billion yen (1.8 billion) paid by the national government and local governments hosting events. ___ em>Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writer Stephen Wade in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this story. /em> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2017

IOC, Tokyo organizers aim to cut costs for the 2020 Olympics

em>By Jim Armstrong, Associated Press /em> TOKYO (AP) — The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo organizing committee wrapped up a two-day project review on Wednesday vowing to cut costs for the 2020 Games and address concerns over water pollution in Tokyo Bay. IOC vice president John Coates said the IOC needs to see cuts of $1 billion from the $12 billion budget. Coates said he saw potential for cost reduction in 11 of the 14 areas that were discussed during the meetings. 'That's the target that we think should be achievable not just by Tokyo but by all summer organizing committees,' said Coates, who chairs the IOC's Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 'What we are trying to do is create a situation where there is no strain on the public purse.' For example, Coates said IOC data from previous games shows that Olympic family lounges operate at only 40 percent capacity, meaning Tokyo organizers could save money on staffing such facilities. The IOC is seeking to make the games more affordable as part of President Thomas Bach's 'Agenda 2020' reforms. In a bid to cut costs, Tokyo organizers have moved several events to existing facilities in neighboring prefectures. In late May, local governments outside Tokyo that are to host competitions agreed with the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government and games organizers on basic principles concerning cost sharing. Yoshiro Mori, the head of the 2020 Tokyo Games organizing committee who also took part in the meetings, said it will be important to explore cost cutting 'based on the framework' reached in May. Mori said that while there have been some heated debates on the cost-cutting efforts, all sides agree that the ultimate goal of delivering the best possible games should be adhered to. Meanwhile, a recent water quality survey at the venue for marathon swimming and triathlon found E. coli bacteria at concentrations up to 21 times the level permitted by the sport's governing body, the Tokyo metropolitan government said. The metropolitan officials attributed the excessive reading to a record rainfall in the Japanese capital in August when there were 21 consecutive days of rain. Precipitation exceeding the processing capacity of sewage facilities can cause sewage water diluted by rain to be discharged into the ocean. Tokyo organizers have ruled out moving the venue and said they plan to implement water quality improvement measures in advance of the games. 'We are conscious that due to exceptionally bad weather this summer, the readings were not what they should be,' Coates said. 'We are looking for reports from the Tokyo municipal government as to what they are planning to do to ensure that even in worst of conditions those matters will be addressed and the health of the athletes in those two sports will not be prejudiced in anyway.'   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2017

Passive smoking measures meet resistance – The Japan News

The gap between the government and the ruling parties over secondhand smoke prevention measures has been widening. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry aims to join the international trend toward a total indoor smoking ban by strengthening restrictions in restaurants and other places. However, cautious views on the ban against a backdrop of opposition from the restaurant industry are growing within the Liberal Democratic Party. While the government plans to submit a bill on a smoking ban during the current Diet session, whether the government and the ruling bloc can reach an agreement on the matter remains unclear. Passive smoking refers to the inhaling of smokers’ tobacco smoke by nonsmokers at restaurants, offices or other such places. It is said that the inhaling of such smoke could increase the risk of lung cancer and stroke by 1.3 times, and sudden infant death syndrome by 4.7 times. The Health Promotion Law enforced in 2003 includes moderate allowances toward the prevention of secondhand smoke, but the health ministry believes the current non-compulsory measure has limited effectiveness and is considering an amendment to the law. According to the proposed measures released by the health ministry on March 1, new regulations would include 1) a smoking ban on the premises of medical facilities, elementary and junior high and high schools, 2) an indoor smoking ban for universities, elderly care facilities, gymnasiums, government and municipal offices, buses and taxis, with designated smoking rooms not being allowed, and 3) an indoor smoking ban for assembly halls, restaurants, offices, and train cars, allowing for the establishment of smoking rooms. Smokers who violate the law would face fines of up to ¥300,000, while facility administrators would face fines of up to ¥500,000. The government aims to enforce the law before the period of the Rugby World Cup, to be held in September 2019, after a two-year get-acquainted period. The ministry’s proposed measures are in accordance with the operational guidelines of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. However, the guidelines call for indoor bans in public places and do not allow for the establishment of smoking rooms. Regarding secondhand smoke measures, Japan remains at “the lowest implementation level in the world.” The health ministry aims to “get closer to international standards before the time when the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are held in 2020.” According to the ministry, since 2008 when the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games were held, host cities, including Pyeongchang, South Korea, which hosts the Winter Games in 2018, have introduced measures against secondhand smoke including fines and most have fully banned indoor smoking. The WHO divides public places into eight categories (medical facilities, non-university schools, universities, administrative buildings, offices, restaurants, bars and public transit), and has released a ranking of countries based on how many categories are subject to indoor smoking bans. According to the ranking, 49 out of 188 countries, including Britain, Russia and Brazil, have bans for all eight categories. Japan falls in the group of 70 countries such as Malaysia with bans for between 0 and 2 categories. Japan remains lowly ranked as it does not have a law to impose an indoor smoking ban, only having promoted separation of smoking areas. Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki argues: “Many advanced countries have thorough measures. We should keep in mind how Japan looks from the outside.” If the ministry’s proposed measures become law, an indoor smoking ban will apply to medical facilities, elementary, junior high and high schools, universities and public buildings. It could move Japan up one rank higher. Regarding restriction in restaurants, many countries face difficulties like Japan. For example, Berlin has introduced measures in which smoking-friendly restaurants should be less than 75 square meters, off limits to those under 18 years old, and can serve only food which does not need to be cooked to prevent children and pregnant women from entering. In South Korea, smoking is allowed only at some types of establishments such as bars. Restaurants in most countries appear to worry smoking bans may keep away customers, but the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer emphasizes, “Legal total smoking bans imposed on restaurants and bars do not lead to decreased sales and profit for them.” The health ministry’s proposed measures have polarized opinion among the ruling and opposition parties. While the “Yes” side argues that the ministry’s proposed measures are good enough, the “No” side says that smoking is a matter of manners and should not be regulated by law. “If we don’t do something, we will make a fool of ourselves in front of the world,” said Hidehisa Otsuji, a former health, labor and welfare minister and chairman of a cross-party caucus that aims to implement secondhand smoke prevention measures before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The caucus met Shiozaki on March 15 and pressed for the strengthening of rules, arguing, “80 percent of people are non-smokers, and we should prioritize the health of the 80 percent.” It is calling for smoking bans in all restaurants, including bars and small drinking establishments known as “snacks.” However, within the LDP, supporters appear to remain in the minority, and it is believed that as much as 90 percent of LDP members are against it while just 10 percent are supporters. About 100 members from the tobacco caucus, chaired by Takeshi Noda, gathered on March 7 and insisted that “tobacco is legal, but [the health [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 6th, 2017

Tokyo breaks ground on new 2020 Olympics National Stadium

TOKYO — Tokyo held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday for a $1.5 billion National Stadium to host the 2020 Olympic Games.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 12th, 2016

English Articles

Japan asking Philippines for workers for 2020 Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manila_shimbunRelated NewsNov 8th, 2016

‘World Robot Summit’ coming to Japan in 2020

The robot olympics are coming to Japan in 2020, the same year that the eyes of the world will be on the summer games in Tokyo......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 5th, 2016

Japan OKs $1.5 billion contract for new Tokyo stadium

TOKYO — Japan's government has approved a plan for a nearly 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) contract with a joint venture to build a new main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 30th, 2016

Expert panel warns Tokyo Olympics cost could top $30 billion

TOKYO — An expert panel commissioned by Japan's capital city has warned that the total cost for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could exceed 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) unless drastic cost-cutting measures are taken......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 29th, 2016

Philippine karate team eyes stint in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

MANILA -– The Philippine karate team is setting its sights on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.Karate has been included in the calendar of the Tokyo Games along with baseball, softball, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 13th, 2016

Boxing at 2020 Olympics remains in doubt

Boxing could still be axed from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after the IOC admitted Thursday that concerns remain over the sport's governance and management by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA). "The IOC Executive Board received a report on the AIBA situation and highlighted its significant ongoing concern with a number of key areas... that require further information and confirmation," said an IOC statement. These areas involved "governance, ethical and financial management". In February, the IOC said they had been "extremely worried" and "extremely preoccupied" by the nomination of Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov for the AIBA's interim presidency. "The IOC execu...Keep on reading: Boxing at 2020 Olympics remains in doubt.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News15 hr. 55 min. ago

Japan passes controversial law allowing establishment of casinos

Japan on Friday enacted a controversial law to allow casinos that the government says will boost tourism and growth but was bitterly opposed by the opposition. In a last-ditch attempt to delay the vote on the bill in the upper house, opposition lawmakers called a confidence vote on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, despite the premier being guaranteed an easy win by his large parliamentary majority. Japan's government has long touted the drive for mega "integrated resorts" (IRs) that will include casinos, entertainment venues, restaurants, hotel and conference halls, on the Las Vegas model. It argues the casinos will bring in tourist and business spending, like other regional...Keep on reading: Japan passes controversial law allowing establishment of casinos.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News15 hr. 55 min. ago

Heat wave has Tokyo residents concerned about Olympics

People walk under intense sun at Ginza shopping district in Tokyo Friday, July 20, 2018. A deadly heat wave in Japan has many residents in the Japanese capital questioning the wisdom of staging the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News17 hr. 56 min. ago