Japanese government officials will be placed under scrutiny by the powerful and highly active Japanese surfing community in lieu of 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Surprise plans of building a mega-residential development and breakwater meant to house sailing athletes for the 2020 Tokyo games have been leaked to the public. The proposed development includes a 130 meter high hotel.
Locals and the surfing community are concerned that it will destroy three of Japan’s best waves and destroy the coastal environment that has been providing income for the local community.
Kotsubo, a quiet fishing village is home to one of the best reef breaks in Japan.
The three waves said to be in danger are Osaki, Kabune, and Inamura.
There was no official release of the plans yet but residents and surfers in the local community quickly reacted and have circulated petitions to save Kotsubo’s environment, and it rapidly became viral throughout the Japanese nation. The locals are worried that the plans, which have currently disappeared from the public agenda will resurface down the line when the green light to push through with the project is no longer reversible
It is ironic that while Olympic officials are working on setting up surfing for Tokyo 2020 they may also risk some of the country’s best waves. An article by local surfer Izawa San, in the issue of The Surfer’s Journal Japanese Edition in December 2015, has been very critical of the said development plans and has questioned the wisdom behind prioritizing economic growth while sacrificing the environment and has called for surfers around the world to help protect their coastlines.