Summer Olympic Games 2020 in Japan

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Summer Olympic Games is one the major international multi-sport event in the world in which are held for every four years. For the upcoming Games, Tokyo, Japanese capital, was elected as the host city of this world-class sports event once again in 2020. In fact, hosting the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games successfully made a remarkable achievement of Japan which not only focused on huge economic growth and urban development but also promoted sports as an integral part of their daily life. (The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, n.d). Despite the obvious benefits of hosting Games showed in 1964, someone has the concern on whether Tokyo is worthwhile to act as a host of the Olympic Games again in 2020. In our stance, we hold an idea that Japan should host the events. Thus, in the essay, we are going to illustrate the background of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at first and discuss and analyze the possible arguments on supporting to host the events afterward.

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Economic aspect

When it comes to hosting a sports event in one country, economic development is a major concern for the government to be considered. The current Japanese economy should be reviewed at first. In fact, since the collapse of the bubble economy in late 1991, the Japanese economy has struggled and remains stagnant last for 20 years. Despite Japan is the world’s third-biggest economy regarding the GDP (Bajpai, 2015), obvious and stable economic development is still required in the face with the problem in the future such as the issue of Japan’s aging population. The older who aged more than 64 years is estimated to increase from 23.0% in 2010 to 31.6% in 2030 (Statistics Japan, 2012). This phenomenon will result in a huge economic burden for the community indeed.

In view of this, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic can bring out the positive economic impact in Japan no matter on short and long terms of advancement. A recent study (Brückner & Pappa, 2015) stated that a country of hosting the Olympic Games provides a sustained enhancement to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between the two to five years before the Games are held as well as the GDP level increases about 10 percent in the years Olympic Games and there is a positive achievement on GDP level after ending of the events. In other words, it showed that the Olympic games could stimulate the positive economic development in Japan no matter on before, during and after hosting the Games. Japan Macro Advisors (2018) showed that Japan’s GDP level grows for 8th straight quarters between 2016 and 2017. It is possibly related to the Olympic Games in 2020. According to (Osada, Ojima, Kurachi, Miura & Kawamoto, 2016) stated that Japan’s GDP level boost to 1% or in around 5 to 6 trillion yen due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic impacts. Apart from this, a recent study (Mizuho Research Institute, 2014) showed that the economic benefits of hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are about 30 trillion yen from 2015 to 2020 which integrated with the direct impact and additional impact of the economy in Japan. For the direct impact, it is estimated at about 1.3 trillion yen regarding the new Olympic main venue and the demand for audience consumption like tickets during the Games. For the additional impact, it is estimated about 3 trillion yen for the expenditure on foreigners who are visited Japan due to the total number of annual visitors to Japan could reach as high as 33 million by 2020. Also, overseas broadcast can gain approximately 700 billion yen (Mizuho Research Institute, 2014). Moreover, SMBC Nikko Securities (2012) claimed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games creates more than 150000 jobs in Japan in which there are 84000 in Tokyo and 68000 elsewhere. Therefore, the above-mentioned statistics showed that hosting the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics Games would generate economic benefits for Japan. It seems as an “economic detonator” for the economy of Japan.

Domestic recovery aspect

By hosting Olympic softball and baseball events, Fukushima will have a great chance to show the world the extent of its recovery since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in the 10 years. The torch relay will start on March 26, 2020 in Fukushima and will head southward to Okinawa before making its way north again and arriving in Tokyo on July 10. It was approved by the organizing committee with the central and Tokyo governments at a meeting .

Organizers hope the 2020 Olympics to help showing Japan’s recovery from the disaster that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and took more than 18,000 lives. While reconstruction from the disaster is making steady progress, more than 70,000 people still remain displaced from their communities (Ryall, 2017).

Fukushima has been chosen to host softball and baseball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, symbolize a move they hope will boost the region’s recovery from the March 2011 nuclear disaster (Mori, 2017).

According to Yoshiro Mori, the 2020 organising committee president, Azuma baseball stadium will host at least one baseball game (possibly the opening match) and one or more softball fixtures, located about 70km north-west of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (McCurry, 2017).

Tokyo 2020 organisers insist Olympic facilities have all cleared the nation’s strict quake-proof building standards. The chief executive officer Toshiro Muto admitted he cannot think of any city that is completely safe, however, Tokyo is one of the best-prepared for natural disasters. Many venues are reinforced by shock-absorbing technology, such as the $320 million Ariake volleyball arena, which features giant rubber cushions. Although Japan is vulnerable to earthquakes, building standards are the strictest in the world (Sunada,2017).

Nuclear power officials in Japan insist the 40-year effort to decommission Fukushima Daiichi, including the storage of nuclear waste, will not harm and affect people visiting the region to attend Olympics events. It will also be a wonderful chance for Japanese to show their gratitude towards those who assisted in the region’s reconstruction. And It is believed that people of Fukushima are also looking forward very much to seeing Olympics events hosted there.

Riccardo Fraccari, the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, describing it as a “great step” that can “inspire hope and highlight the regeneration in Fukushima” (McCurry, 2017).

Therefore, the hosting of events in Fukushima will support recovery efforts in the overall Tohoku region. It can help to tell people that because the Games are being held in Fukushima. It is perfectly safe for people to go back to their homes, for farmers to go back into their fields, for children to play in the open air. Also, It is a great platform for the Japanese government to convince the world that the 2011 nuclear crisis is over and raise its national image.

National image

National image refers to the worldwide public’s perception of and opinion about a given country’s politics, economics, culture, and citizens. It was defined as a human construct imposed on perceived attributes projected by an object, event, or person (Nimmo and Savage, 1976). Also, media coverage will have a significant benefit on how to build the image of the Olympics host countries (Lippmann, 2017).

Japan has held Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Olympics host countries will attempt to transfer the values of Olympics to their products and services. Then, it helps the countries build “halo effect” for favorable country-of-origin image (Yao, 2010). Chattalas (2002) stated that 1964 Tokyo Olympics was a successful experience to use the game as an instrument for the marketing of products made in the host nation. Because Japan used Olympics to announce its ascendancy after post-war international trade and build up an image of “New industrial Japan” that is progressive but peaceful and friendly (Chattalas, 2002). Finally, the sales of “made in Japan” electronic products were associated with an image of high workmanship and high quality has raised greatly (Chattalas, 2002).

Tokyo Olympics aimed at building a sustainable Olympics with environmental protection. Also, solar panels will be constructed on the road surface to produce large amount of sustainable energy. 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be a competition supported by the highest level of advanced technology. For examples, it predicted that tourists can enjoy the services provided by robots everywhere e.g. hotels, airports. Also, driverless vehicles will be designed to transport the tourists besides the competition sites.


Critic may say that Olympic Game can only have little economic growth on Tokyo as it is a well-developed city. The local government plan to spend only about 0.1-0.2 percent budget, which is much less than other countries that spend 0.4 percent. It reflects that social infrastructure in Tokyo is already mature. So, the new social infrastructures only have little contribution to its growth in gross domestic product. However, we disagree with it. It is true that Tokyo is a hustle and bustle city with great urban facilities. Tokyo can make use of the existing infrastructure to increase its attractiveness to tourist by promoting them through the world-known event. It is a great strategy to attract more travelers without spending a huge amount of money than other developing countries. Invest lesser but gain more. Also, the local government take advantages of the game and improve facilities. For example, it is hard to book a hotel room in Tokyo. The event can attract businessman to constrict new hotels and refurbish existing hotel in private sector. It helps to provide more rooms to the tourist and ease the problem. What is more, transportation is always a huge problem in Tokyo. In the busy hours, people have to pack together to get in the train or facing traffic jam on the road. More ways of transportation can be constructed under the budge. Therefore, it is worthwhile for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic.

Apart from it, critic states that fluctuation might be happen in business cycle after the Games. Before the event, construction investment will tend to increase in several years for the requirements for the new Olympics-related facilities. As the Games ends, construction investment will assume to be decrease. In our opinion, it is true that construction investment might not be as large as those preparing years for the Olympics game. Though the fluctuation is unpreventable, measures can be adopted to minimize sings in the business cycle. As long as the local government can take measures to sustain the increase in foreign tourism, the Games can bring lasting benefits. For example, the government can provide low profit tax for the foreign business group to build more new hotels. Not only does it boost foreign investment, it also increase the number of rooms in Tokyo as it is now beyond the accommodation.

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