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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > Abe’s political exploitation of Tokyo Olympics evokes nightmare of Hitler
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Abe’s political exploitation of Tokyo Olympics evokes nightmare of Hitler

May 9, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is now discussing a plan to relay the Olympic torch through all 47 prefectures in Japan. Some committee members reportedly propose routes going through disaster-stricken areas and World Heritage sites.

The Olympic torch relay, which carries the Olympic flame from Olympia in Greece to a host city, has contributed to spreading the Olympic spirit of peace and friendship among citizens around the world. But in fact, the torch relay originates in the Berlin Olympics held in 1936 under the Nazi regime.

Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, attempted to use the international sporting event to justify his racial discrimination policies. His aim was to demonstrate the superiority of the Germanic race to the world and solidify his dictatorship with the national enthusiasm over the world competition.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo recently stated that he will work to change Japan’s peace Constitution and enforce a new constitution in 2020. He said, “We have to make the year 2020, when Japan hosts the Summer Olympics for the first time in half a century, a great opportunity to transform Japan into a new nation.”

PM Abe called for adding a clause in regard to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to Article 9 of the Constitution which proclaims the renunciation of war and war potential. Under the pretext of defending the 2020 Tokyo Games from the threat of terrorism, the Abe-led governing coalition aims to railroad through the Diet the anti-conspiracy bill which is widely criticized for violating people’s right to freedom of thought. PM Abe’s scheme to realize his ambitions using the Olympics as a front brings back horrible memories of the Third Reich.

The 1936 Berlin Games was called “Hitler’s Olympics”. The current Olympic Charter states that the IOC “opposes any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes”. In order to protect peace and sports, we must not make the 2020 Games “Abe’s Olympics”.
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