World Sailing’s 2018 World Cup Series Enoshima, which doubles as the first test run for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, opened in Sagami Bay, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Sept. 11. The aim of a test run is to uncover problems that could arise at the Olympics. The start of the World Cup Series was arranged so that it would impact as little as possible the fishing grounds for whitebait, a specialty of the area.
With an eye to ensuring that the sporting events go smoothly at the Olympics, a test run is an opportunity to confirm whether the timing equipment can be use accurately and to have employees of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games serve as event officials and detect operational issues.
The Organizing Committee sent a total of 200 employees to the World Cup Series Enoshima. They are divided into 36 specialties, including transport and security, and are learning operational expertise directly from World Sailing, the sponsor of the World Cup Series.
For the World Cup Series, the Olympics Organizing Committee and the World Cup Series Steering Committee met many times with local people in the fisheries industry to decide the race area. This was necessary because the event period coincides with the whitebait fishing season. They have discussed the matter since November last year, being sure to include event coordinator Kanagawa Prefectural Government in the discussions.
In the case of the Olympics, there is a chance that fishing will not be possible for a certain period for reasons of security. In the event that compensation is given to the fishermen, it would be covered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It has not yet been determined, however, how much the compensation would be or how broad a group it would be distributed to.
A diverse spectrum of issues must be resolved before the Olympics, ranging from traffic countermeasures in the Enoshima area to the training of volunteers and the selection of the place to which the cruisers usually in Enoshima will be relocated during the event.
From the end of September, the Organizing Committee plans to announce the schedule of the test-run events. (Abridged)