Elaine Kurtenbach and I recently had a conversation about the Olympic logo and stadium belly flops. As a much appreciated courtesy, she inserted a snippet from our talk in her eventual article. (Link)
However, I take exception to the thesis announced in the title, that the succession of egg-on-the-face embarrassments is the result of a particular Japanese mode of behavior or set of behaviors.
Indifference, laziness, buck-passing, box checking and blunt ignorance are not Japanese traits, nor are they the traits of Japanese bureaucracy and the Liberal Democratic Party. An insinuation that something essential about Japan has been exposed by this farce is poppycock.
Tokyo 2020 shows the world the weaknesses of one person: Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Effective recruitment and deployment of talented advisors and officers are the prerequisites of good administration. In naming the persons he did to the chairmanship and vice chairmanship of the organizing committee, Abe guaranteed the committee's inability to function.
What we are left to speculate upon is whether failure -- albeit failure down the line, not right at the git-go -- may indeed may have been Abe's intent.
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