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Why the 2020 Olympics won’t solve Japan’s problems

Media coverage of Japan is confined to a few modernist paradigms of a vibrant technopolis, obscuring the problems affecting the rest of the country

By Peter Matanle  

Japan rising?

Celebrations abounded in Tokyo last month after it was announced that the Japanese capital would host the 2020 Olympic Games. The decision rested partly on the assumptions that the nuclear situation in Fukushima is manageable, and that the Games will bring opportunities for recovery to the tsunami-destroyed communities.

The former assumption is almost certainly correct. Fukushima may not be completely under control, but it is too far away to affect Tokyo. The latter assumption is less certain. Of the three most damaged prefectures, Fukushima lies to…

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