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Tokyo 2020: how Japan's moment of glory has become a millstone for the economy

By Taku Tamaki, Lecturer in International Relations, Loughborough University
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“Japan is back!” declared Shinzo Abe, the then Japanese prime minister, after he made a surprise appearance dressed as Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Tokyo 2020 was supposed to be a moment of national glory, a chance to put the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 firmly in the past, and to showcase Japan’s technological pre-eminence in spearheading an environmentally sustainable Olympics.

When the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games begin on July 23, a year later than planned, it will be without…

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