«Post-Olympic Japan: Renewal or Failure» (7.-8.10.2021)

Envisaged as an event to remind the world of Japan’s leading role and innovation power and to fully establish it as a tourism magnet, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 have turned out to be a completely different story. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the games had to be postponed to 2021 and are now planned without foreign visitors. As Japan is currently facing a fourth COVID wave, a large majority of Japan’s population would prefer to delay it for another year or even to cancel it altogether. What was meant to be a showcase of the abilities of the current government and a culmination of its achievements, is becoming a liability in the upcoming elections.

Whether the Tokyo Olympics will be finally realized in summer 2021 or not, we would like to invite papers for an online workshop on October 7-8 about the impact of the Tokyo Olympics and the gap between original aspirations and concrete results. Papers addressing different aspects of the Tokyo Olympics like costs and benefits, gender roles, social movements, Japan’s international image, the power of social media, political fallout, tourism, infrastructure, science and technology, comparison to 1940 and/or 1964 etc. are welcome.

Please send your proposal (title and abstracts of max. 200 words) to the organizers until July 11, 2021. We plan the publication of a special issue based on the workshop.

The online workshop will be held in cooperation of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), the University of Zurich (UZH) and the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF).

Organizers: Dr. David Chiavacci (UZH, david.chiavacci@uzh.ch) and Dr. Iris Wieczorek (GIGA, iris.wieczorek@giga-hamburg.de).