Fishing conflict at Tokyo 2020 Venue
Published on September 10th, 2018
Fujisawa, Japan (September 10, 2018) – After issuing sharp criticism of preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, World Sailing said today that organizers had made much progress at the Olympic Sailing venue in Enoshima.
In April, World Sailing said Tokyo 2020 was well behind schedule in terms of its preparations, with concerns over fishing fleets operating on the course, and over security.
This led IOC coordination commission chairman John Coates to warn 2020 organisers they had to be “prepared to answer these questions when they are raised”, or confidence could waver.
But speaking at the World Cup Series event which starts tomorrow at Enoshima, Alastair Fox, director of events for World Sailing, has seen a big change.
“We had some concerns at the beginning of the year but we have seen a huge amount of activities over the last few months leading up to this first test event and World Cup,” said Fox.
Fox added how World Sailing was treating the Enoshima regatta as an Olympic test event. “We have a lot to learn” with less than two years until the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony. We’ll sit down with our Tokyo friends and we’ll plan ahead for 2019 test events and for the Olympic Games.”
Also attending the regatta, Tokyo 2020 official Takuya Naito admitted: “In April, our communication with World Sailing wasn’t sufficient.”
But he claimed organizers had made “big progress” since then, talking to the Coast Guard about safety and to fishermen about organizing the field of play.
“We don’t think our preparations are largely behind schedule,” said Naito.
However, clearly the fishing issue remains a concern as the waters around the venue are an abundant fishing grounds, with a video produced to educate the sailors about the local fishing practices.