TOKYO, August 23 -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday some 90 percent of around 3,700 vehicles and mobility devices it will provide to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be electrified, as it seeks to showcase its advanced low-emission technology at the world event.
Of the total, 1,350 units will be either electric or fuel-cell vehicles that produce no carbon dioxide when running, while the rest will be hybrids and plug-in hybrids powered by electric-gasoline engines, Toyota, a sponsor of the Summer Games, said. With the lineup to be used to transport athletes, officials and spectators to and within venues, Toyota said it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 50 percent compared with when the entire fleet was made up of conventional gasoline and diesel models. The official fleet will include more than a dozen box-shaped autonomous electric vehicles, 500 Mirai, the world's first mass-produced fuel-cell car, 200 cart-like EVs specially designed for the games that can be used by people with impairments, and 300 standing-type mobility devices for use by security and medical staff, Toyota said. Fuel-cell vehicles are powered by electricity generation through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, a green system that Toyota has long been focusing on as a promising future technology.
TOKYO, July 9 -- Roughly 3.2 million tickets were sold in the first phase of ticket sales for next year's Tokyo Olympics, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said Monday.
Japan residents who won the right to purchases tickets through the first-phase ticket lottery were required to complete their purchases on Thursday when organizers announced another round of sales for those who tried but failed to get any tickets in the first phase. Hundreds of thousands of tickets will be available in August's "second chance" lottery, organizers revealed. However, tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, and many finals are expected to be excluded. Originally, organizers estimated they would have approximately 7.8 million tickets available for the games, which run from July 24 to Aug. 9 next year, but that figure is now expected to exceed 9 million, according to sources close to the matter. Less than 10 percent of the tickets assigned in the first-phase lottery remain unsold. A second-phase ticket lottery is scheduled for this autumn when tickets for all events will be up for grabs, but Tokyo 2020 Ticketing Director Hidenori Suzuki said, "There won't be more tickets available than during the first phase."
Author: Linda Lim
TOKYO, May 18 -- Reports released by a global union federation on Wednesday demanded better conditions for laborers working on the construction of Tokyo Games facilities after several "alarming" alleged labor violations were uncovered.
The report from the Building and Wood Workers' International titled "The Dark Side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics" is based on interviews with construction workers and documents how low pay, overwork and poor access to grievance mechanisms are creating a "culture of fear" among crews at Olympic projects. The BWI, headquartered in Geneva, is seeking an end to "dangerous patterns of overwork," citing the example of construction workers at the National Stadium and Olympic Village who reported being required to work up to 26 and 28 consecutive days, respectively. "The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was Japan's opportunity to address some of the long-running gaps within the construction industry in Japan, however, these problems have just got worse," BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said. "Wages remain low, dangerous overwork is common, and workers have limited access to recourse to address their issues," Yuson said.
According to the report, the Japanese construction sector is currently facing an "acute labor shortage," with 4.3 positions vacant for every construction worker. At the same time, an increase in construction activity has been driven by Japan's hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Games, as well as ongoing reconstruction efforts in Fukushima. Among the findings, one case at the National Stadium was highlighted for being particularly grievous. The report cited a complaint about a worker's injury being rejected because it had been brought by the union and not the injured party. The alleged rejection "constitutes a serious violation of the right to be represented, a core component of the right to freedom of association," the federation said in the report. The BWI sent a delegation to Tokyo last September to meet with key decision-makers and investigate the "conditions faced by workers in the construction of Tokyo 2020 Olympic facilities." Their findings were further substantiated by interviews conducted in February by BWI and its Japanese affiliate, the National Federation of Construction Workers' Unions, with workers involved in the construction of the National Stadium and Olympic Village. The report was sent Tuesday to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japanese Sports Council -- groups responsible for the construction of Olympic facilities. The 2020 organizing committee said Tuesday evening the report is "under review." Through their "Global Sports Campaign for Decent Work and Beyond," the BWI has been examining large-scale international sporting events for over 10 years to "improve working conditions and ensure safety and health for workers building all projects related to mega-sporting events."
This should give them the confidence and stimulus to put these rules in place."
Under the previous IOC guidelines, approved in 2003, athletes who transitioned from male to female or vice versa were required to have reassignment surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy to be eligible to compete. Now, surgery will no longer be required, with female-to-male transgender athletes eligible to take part in men's competitions "without restriction".
Meanwhile, male-to-female transgender athletes will need to demonstrate that their testosterone level has been below a certain cut-off point for at least one year before their first competition.
"The overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition."
"To require surgical anatomical changes as a precondition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights," it added.