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  • Golden 25 - #5 - A Quartet in Tokyo


    12/30/16

    (ATR) The illustrious Tokyo String Quartet may no longer exist, but a new Tokyo quartet hopes to make music for the 2020 Olympics.

    Yuriko Koike (l) and Shinzo Abe (Getty Images)
    As pressure builds to hold the line on costs for the 2020 Olympics in one of the most expensive cities in the world, the decision-making and influence is now shared in Tokyo among four main lines of interest.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exercises the power of the national government which will finance major projects such as the new National Stadium. Abe, whose remarkably long tenure as Prime Minister enters a fifth year, wants to use the Tokyo Olympics to help propel the country forward, past the devastation of the 2011 earthquake.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Governor General Yuriko Koike has become a force to be reckoned in the six months she’s held office. Unlike her three predecessors who launched the bid and the organizing committee, Koike has been demanding that costs for construction must not be a burden for city taxpayers. Her activism was behind the flurry of discussions in the past three months about venue changes. That led to the formation of the four party working group, the quartet that’s become a new watchdog for Tokyo 2020.

    John Coates (l) and Yoshiro Mori (Getty Images)
    John Coates represents the IOC in the quartet, the reasoned Australian who’s an IOC vice president and carries the experience as one of the leaders of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. As chair of the IOC commission for Tokyo, he is a frequent traveler to Tokyo to provide advice and support. IOC member in Israel Alex Gilady is vice chair of the commission and is also highly experienced especially in the field of broadcasting.

    Tokyo 2020 is headed by one of the lions of Japanese politics, 79-year-old Yoshiro Mori, ex-prime minister. While he appreciates the politics behind keeping costs under control, he also realizes that dithering produces delays and potential troubles as the immutable deadline of 2020 approaches. In remission from cancer, Mori ever lion-like, has regrown his hair and restored his vigor as a performer for this new Tokyo Quartet.

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

    Written by Ed Hula.

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