It takes two to tango! Olympism must say “NO” to Both, Korean Radioactive Propaganda and Japanese Political Reaction

In the beginning of January 2020, the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) , a Korean NPO, published three types of posters including political propaganda with demonstrations of Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 affected by radioactive contamination because of The Great East Japan Earthquake, by use of Olympic logos and terms.

Its representative said that they intended to pray for the success on Tokyo Olympics as well as for the sake of security of participants and spectators of the Games. However, eventually it shall be blasphemy of Olympic Symbol because Olympic Symbol symbolizes the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes all over the world. If VANK would like to pray for the successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, they should sympathize the neighboring country affected by disaster and show their cooperative figures to share the hope for their future. It is obviously the not permitted use of Olympic Symbol.


What action shall be taken by Olympism?

In Japan, a conservative political group composed by some diet members announced that the posters in question must be the political use of Olympics and would ask the IOC to take the strict action to the VANK according to the Olympic Charter article 50.

It seems to be a fair argument.

However, from the viewpoint of Olymism, this statement is also against the Olympic Charter, since they misuse the Olympic Charter to react against the Korean group politically on the basis of Nationalism.

Remembering keynote speech by Mr. Thomas Bach, IOC President on the occasion of ANOC General Assembly in Doha last October, he reiterated “it takes two to tango.” It means that we must respect for others and put great value on the political neutrality. At the same time it means also that It takes two to make a quarrel.

The article 50 of Olympic Charter includes “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” But every action taken by Nationalism shall be prohibited in every place of the world according to Olympic spirit.

Olympic philosophy always considers every issue beyond politics. The way of instigating Nationalism the above both parties presented has been judged by Olympism radically.

Ryoichi Kasuga
Sport Consultant

January 31, 2020

This article is summarized from the weekly columns “Kritik der praktischen Olympisums” by Ryoichi Kasuga in Nikkan Gendai.