— Published 28 March 2023

The Japanese want to cut back

Unexpected turnaround for the organizers of the 2026 Asian Games in Aichi and Nagoya, Japan. Japanese media report that they have decided to abandon the project of building a village for the athletes. A decision motivated by the need to reduce the costs of the multi-sport event. It was taken Monday, March 27, during a meeting in Nagoya of the executive committee. The governor of the Aichi prefecture, Ohmura Hideaki, also president of the organizing committee, made no secret of it: the abandonment of the construction project of the athletes’ village is closely linked to the corruption scandal of the Tokyo 2020 Games. A scandal that, according to him, now obliges event organizers to scrutinize their spending of taxpayers’ money. The athletes’ village was initially planned in Nagoya, on the site of a former racetrack. Instead, the delegations could be accommodated in hotels in Nagoya and Aichi. Another measure of savings, at least as unexpected: a reduction in the number of sports and athletes. The program of the 2026 Asian Games could be reduced, subject to the agreement of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), to Olympic disciplines only. Finally, Ohmura Hideaki told the media that the organizing committee had decided to select, for its marketing and public relations operations, advertising agencies with an international network, and not national agencies. A decision whose main victim could be Dentsu, the Japanese giant of the communication, directly implied in the scandal of corruption bound to the Games of Tokyo 2020.