It’s Official: Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games! Clearly it will be an interesting road ahead over the next 2,510 days and, of course, that “Discover Tomorrow” campaign tagline resonates with our longtime efforts in Japan as well. While it’s a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon here in the southern suburbs, with local matsuri taiko drums and yokobue flutes in the air, I just wanted to mark this historic day with a few quick thoughts below.
Many have argued the nation should focus it’s resources, attention and funding, on internal measures as there continues to be legitimate concern about the Fukushima melt-down and significant efforts required for re-building Tohoku. This post, for example, by Anuj Wankhede “who believes that bigger the problem, bigger the opportunity.” Rather ironic. We also note a tired economic refrain of Japan having +200% debt to GDP, hint: simple rules of accounting also consider the ‘Assets’ factor, suggest reading this great article here on that myth.
I believe hosting the games will lead to increased global awareness, therefore transparency and diligence, to address these challenges we face while providing a genuine showcase for the world to really see “This Is Japan”. Naturally there are plenty of physical, tangible, aspects to go along with that logic, for better and worse. However, it’s the inspiratioanl impact that has value far beyond cold calculation. The country needed this kind of positive kick (imho) for past, present and future generations; it’s a power-shift, as previously demonstrated in 1964.
With respect to our activities here at WWJ going forward, forecast subtle changes. The core value proposition has always been sharing what’s happening on the ground, in English, from the (still) most advanced mobile market in the world. As you might imagine these efforts over the last 12-years have been equally difficult and rewarding. A most recent case in point is the on-going, and apparently increasing, ‘speculative’ noise from main-stream media: DoCoMo will launch the iPhone, Panasonic will also exit etc. It seems that simple fact-checking has become a lost art and reporting ‘rumors’ as official news is somehow Ok? We have taken countless such articles to-task in the past, debunking big brand ‘opinions’ stated as gospel.. Enough. (sources say Hello Kitty will sky-dive into opening ceremonies with the Emperor!)
I’m a firm believer in the Life is a Roller-Coaster Theory: It’s a thrilling, sometimes scary, ride that seems to last for an eternity but will end before you know it. We have been at ground zero in this game since the beginning and it’s been an most excellent adventure to-date. We have managed to develop useful platforms and built an amazing network of contacts within this space, it’s an honour and privilege to serve as the bridge between Japan and the world. At the same time, since the 3.11 disaster, we are on the edge of an extreme situation which continues to have the moment by moment potential to seriously alter our daily lives.. #_#
The key point being this 2020 timeline has triggered an overdue realization of what’s actually most important, both personally and professionally, in the mid-term. Let the Games Begin!
Filed Under: Editors Note