Japan: Evictions Going Ahead even though New Stadium back to Drawing Board
The government announced in July 2015 that plans for constructing a new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were to be revisited scratch, amidst public outcry as projected costs for had trebled to more than USD 2 billion. Despite the fact that the new stadium has gone back to the drawing board, the demolition of a public housing complex in the nearby neighbourhood of Kasumigaoka is to take place as scheduled. This would result in the evictions of 160 households, or approximately 370 people. 60% of the residents facing eviction are over 65 years old. The authorities have reportedly offered to relocate the households to similar complexes in other neighbourhoods in central Tokyo: however, residents were not consulted individually regarding their relocation, and many residents have expressed concern that it will be difficult to maintain their community ties.
[Summary of English and Japanese language articles, by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]
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Author: Residents of Kasumigaoka public apartment complex
We are residents of Tokyo’s Kasumigaoka public apartment complex. Since we unexpectedly received notification in July 2012 that we need to move out of our home due to the reconstruction of the National Stadium for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have been in constant anxiety and pain. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japan Sport Council (JSC) have unilaterally sent us the notification and only explained about possible sites for us to move in. They have not tried to listen to our desire that we want to keep living in the current area where we have friends and we are strongly attached to. We sent a statement to Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yoichi three times in July 2014, February 2015, and June 2015, calling on him to give us a reasonable explanation. However, we have not received any answer. ... We call for a negotiation table to be set up to sincerely explore possible ways to maintain the Kasumigaoka apartment complex. If the construction of the New National Stadium destroys the community of us residents who have lived in the area for a long time and infringes on our right to live, it will not only give us tremendous hardships but also go against the Olympic Spirit that values the “Preservation of Human Dignity.”
- Related stories: Japan: Evictions Going Ahead even though New Stadium back to Drawing Board
- Related in-depth areas: Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
都営霞ケ丘アパートは戦後間もなく整備されたバラックに100世帯が居住。1961年に建設され、住民約370人、うち6割が65歳以上の高齢者だ。2012年夏、住民には立ち退きが一方的に通告された。合同説明会が行われたのみで、世帯ごと戸別の説明は行われなかったという。… 転居のめどは2016年1月。原宿神宮前と若松町のアパートへ引っ越しする。… 国も、建設計画の白紙見直しとは関係なく霞ケ丘アパートの取り壊しについては既定事項として進める方針だ。責任の所在があいまいなまま進められたプロジェクトの代償は、こんなところにも現れている。
Author: Ruaridh Villar and Hyun Oh, Reuters
The public housing complex where he and his wife live, close to the stadium and the site of his former home - currently a parking lot - is slated to be destroyed as part of construction of a new stadium for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which Tokyo won the right to host again earlier this month. ... Jinno, who turns 80 next month, has no idea where he will move, or when. He said two hundred families in the same complex, most of them elderly, face the same dilemma. "I wish they wouldn't have the Olympics in Tokyo again," he said. "I can bear getting evicted if it's just the once in a lifetime. But twice? It's ridiculous."