Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | ePaper

Tokyo 2020 preparing for any disaster

  • Print
AFP, Tokyo :
Cyberattacks, terrorism, earthquakes and heatwaves: Tokyo 2020 organisers are hoping for the best but bracing for the worst and making contingency plans for several possible catastrophes during the Games.
Clean, virtually crime-free Tokyo has been spared the terror attacks that have hit many Western cities in recent years, and is considered a relatively safe bet for the Games - it is often ranked as low-risk by insurance and risk-management firms.
But that security goes out of the window when it comes to hosting the Greatest Show on Earth, says Shiro Kawamoto, counter-terrorism expert and professor of risk management at Nihon University.
"Tokyo's safeness in normal times cannot be taken for granted during the Olympics when the world's attention is on it," Kawamoto told AFP.
So Tokyo is pulling out all the technological stops to bolster safety - for example, in an Olympic first, introducing a facial recognition system for volunteers.
Organisers are also bracing for a cyberattack similar to that which blighted the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony, where internet and wifi access were brought down.
"We are preparing on the assumption there will be a cyberattack," said Kenji Endo, a senior government official in charge of Tokyo 2020.
The government has set up an elite unit of police and defence ministry experts to counter a possible cyber threat.
For terrorist attacks, Tokyo has not experienced a large-scale atrocity since the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult released Sarin gas on the subway in 1995, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more.
But an attack on New Year's Eve - where a man deliberately rammed a car up one of Tokyo's best-known streets and injured nine people - jolted Tokyo out of its complacency.
Counter-terrorism drills are being conducted regularly and officials are urging the public to be vigilant.
With petty crime much lower than in other major capitals, people generally pay little attention to abandoned baggage, for example.
"To avoid a suspicious object in a train suddenly exploding, someone has to spot it and call police or station staff," Kawamoto said.
The ever-present threat of natural disasters is also keeping Olympics officials up at night, with Tokyo being one of the world's most seismically active capitals and Japan battered last year by typhoons and heatwaves.
"As for natural disasters, we think the biggest challenge is to prepare for a big quake that is impossible to predict," said Akio Sato, senior official at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Rigid building codes mean even strong tremors often do little damage but the government estimates up to 23,000 could die if a magnitude seven quake hit Tokyo directly.

More News For this Category

Muscat quits Melbourne Victory in tears after 14 successful years

Muscat quits Melbourne Victory in tears after 14 successful years

AFP, Melbourne :A tearful Kevin Muscat quit as Melbourne Victory head coach by mutual agreement on Monday, ending his 14- year association with the A-League powerhouse."It's clearly an emotional time,"

Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title

Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title

AP, Rome :Rafael Nadal is right back where he wants to be. After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal dominated for stretches against his longtime rival,

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic holds the trophy after winning the final match against Johanna Konta at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome on Sunday. Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-clay-court title of her career by beating Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 in the Italian Open final.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic holds the trophy after winning the final match against Johanna Konta at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome on Sunday. Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-clay-court title of her career by beating Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 in the Italian Open final.

State Minister for Youth & Sports Ministry Md Jahid Ahsan Rasel MP Inaugurating Walton -DRU Krira Utsab 2019 at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday. Among others, Harunur Rashid, Chairman, Dhaka Metropolitan Football League Committee, F M Iqbal Bin Anwar Dawn, Executive Director, Walton, Elias Hossain, President of  DRU, Kabir Ahmed Khan, General Secretary of DRU and Shafiqul Islam Shameem, Sports Secretary of DRU were present on the occasion.

State Minister for Youth & Sports Ministry Md Jahid Ahsan Rasel MP Inaugurating Walton -DRU Krira Utsab 2019 at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday. Among others, Harunur Rashid, Chairman, Dhaka Metropolitan Football League Committee, F M Iqbal Bin Anwar Dawn, Executive Director, Walton, Elias Hossain, President of DRU, Kabir Ahmed Khan, General Secretary of DRU and Shafiqul Islam Shameem, Sports Secretary of DRU were present on the occasion.

Pliskova sweeps past Konta to win Italian Open

Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova swept past Britain's Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to win the WTA Italian Open on Sunday.Pliskova, the 2017 French Open semi-finalist, clinched her 13th career title,

Jamie Chadwick moves step closer to F1 drive by joining Williams academy

Jamie Chadwick moves step closer to F1 drive by joining Williams academy

Jamie Chadwick's dream of breaking into Formula One is a step closer after Williams announced on Monday they had hired her as a development driver.The 21-year-old has emerged as the

'Next year will be my last' - Pizarro to retire in 2020

Veteran Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro says that he will end his playing career in 2020 at the age of 41.Pizarro, 40, announced a one-year contract extension at Werder Bremen on

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

India gender-row sprinter Chand says she is gay

Top Indian sprinter Dutee Chand revealed Sunday that she is gay, becoming the first athlete from the socially conservative country to do so, and adding she feared being ostracised by

Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard shoots between Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals in Milwaukee on Friday. The Bucks won 125-103 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard shoots between Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals in Milwaukee on Friday. The Bucks won 125-103 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

US Olympic swimmer Adrian returns to pool after cancer fight

US Olympic swimmer Adrian returns to pool after cancer fight

AFP, Los Angeles :Five-time Olympic champion swimmer Nathan Adrian, competing for the first time since he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, finished fourth in the 100m freestyle Friday at the