1940 Summer Olympics

Last updated
Games of the XII Olympiad
Poster Olympische Sommerspiele Tokio 1940.jpg
Poster for the 1940 games, when the games were scheduled to be held in Tokyo
Host city Helsinki, Finland
Opening20 July
Closing4 August
Stadium Helsingin Olympiastadion
Summer
Berlin 1936 London 1948
London 1944
Winter
Garmisch 1936
Garmisch 1940
St. Moritz 1948
Cortina 1944

The 1940 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XII Olympiad, were originally scheduled to be held from September 21 to October 6, 1940, in Tokyo, Japan. They were rescheduled for Helsinki, Finland, to be held from July 20 to August 4, 1940, but were ultimately cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II. Helsinki eventually hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics and Tokyo the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Tokyo Metropolis in Kantō

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Helsinki Capital city in Uusimaa, Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km (240 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

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1940 Tokyo Olympics

The campaign to choose a city for 1940 began in 1932, with Barcelona, Rome, Helsinki, and Tokyo participating. Tokyo city officials suggested a campaign as a means of international diplomacy following Japan's alienation from the League of Nations due to the Mukden Incident, in which Japan occupied Manchuria and created the puppet state of Manchukuo.

League of Nations 20th-century intergovernmental organisation, predecessor to the United Nations

The League of Nations, abbreviated as LN or LoN, was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.

Mukden Incident event in which Lt. Suemori Kawamoto of the Japanese Army detonated dynamite on a Japan-owned railway line near Mukden (now Shenyang) in 18 Sept. 1931, blamed by Japan on Chinese dissidents and used as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria.

Manchuria geographic region in Northeast Asia

Manchuria is a name first used in the 17th century by Japanese people to refer to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. Depending on the context, Manchuria can either refer to a region that falls entirely within the People's Republic of China or a larger region divided between China and Russia. "Manchuria" is widely used outside China to denote the geographical and historical region. This region is the traditional homeland of the Xianbei, Khitan, and Jurchen peoples, who built several states within the area historically.

While both Tokyo officials and International Olympic Committee (IOC) representatives were behind the campaign, the national government, which was ever more interested in military matters, did not have any strong supporters for such a diplomatic gesture. [1] In 1936, Tokyo was chosen in a surprise move, making it the first non-Western city to win an Olympic bid.

International Olympic Committee ruling body of the Olympic movement

The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

1930s Japan and international sports

During the 1930 Far Eastern Games in Tokyo, Indian participants were spotted flying the flag of their independence movement rather than the flag of British India. This caused a complaint from the British Olympic Association. In 1934 Japan attempted to invite European colonies to the Far Eastern Games. [2]

British Olympic Association National Olympic Committee of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The British Olympic Association (BOA) is the National Olympic Committee for the United Kingdom. It represents the Olympic movement and organises the participation of athletes from across the Olympic sports which competes as Great Britain or at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games.

Planning

Souvenir flag (1936) Twelfth Tokyo Olympics (1940 Summer Olympics) souvenir handflag, 1936 AD - Edo-Tokyo Museum - Sumida, Tokyo, Japan - DSC06952.jpg
Souvenir flag (1936)

The main stadium was to be Meiji Jingu Stadium, later used at the 1964 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Village was to be built on the present sites of Kinuta Park or Todoroki Gorge. A schedule was drawn up, and guidelines were printed in four languages. Monthly magazines and posters were printed and distributed internationally. Construction began on some buildings, and arrangements were made with hotels, travel agents, and airlines for easy access. [3]

Meiji Jingu Stadium stadium

The Meiji Jingu Stadium is a baseball stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It opened in 1926 and holds 37,933 spectators. Property of the Meiji Shrine, it is the home field of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows professional baseball team. It also hosts college baseball, including the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League and the Tohto University Baseball League.

1964 Summer Olympics Games of the XVIII Olympiad, celebrated in Tokyo in 1964

The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan, from 10 to 24 October 1964. Tokyo had been awarded the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honour was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's invasion of China, before ultimately being cancelled because of World War II.

Kinuta Park town located in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Kinuta Park is a park in Setagaya, Tokyo. The total area is 39 hectares, 240,000;m² of which are grass.

Forfeiture of Games

When the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out on July 7, 1937, Kono Ichiro, a member of the Diet (legislature), immediately requested that the Olympics be forfeited. [4] The 1938 Far Eastern Games were also cancelled, but Japan's IOC delegates persisted under a belief that the war would soon be over. [5] Amid the intensification of the war, the feasibility of both the Summer Olympics and the 1940 Winter Olympics grew increasingly questionable to other countries, who suggested a different site be chosen and spoke of the possibility of boycotting the Games were they to proceed in Japan. [6]

Second Sino-Japanese War military conflict between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle.

National Diet legislature of Japan

The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister. The Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power. The National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo.

The 1940 Winter Olympics, which would have been officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games, were to have been celebrated from 3 to 12 February 1940 in Sapporo, Japan, but the games were eventually cancelled due to the onset of World War II. Sapporo subsequently hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics.

In March 1938, the Japanese provided reassurances to the IOC at the organization's Cairo conference that Tokyo would still be able to serve as the host city. However, many Diet members in Japan had already openly questioned hosting the Olympics in wartime, and the military was unreasonably demanding that the organizers build the venues from wood because they needed metals for the war front. [7] In July, a legislative session was held to decide the matters of the Summer and Winter Olympics and the planned 1940 World's Fair all at once. The World's Fair was only "postponed", under a belief that Japan would be able to wrap up the war, but the Olympics could not be moved and was canceled. [8]

Kōichi Kido, who would later be instrumental in the surrender of Japan in 1945, announced the forfeiture on July 16, 1938. He closed his speech saying, "When peace reigns again in the Far East, we can then invite the Games to Tokyo and take that opportunity to prove to the people of the world the true Japanese spirit." [3] This would come to pass in 1964.

Despite the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics, the Tokyo organizing committee released its budget for the Games. In a departure from standard practice, the budget included all capital outlays as well as direct organizing costs. The total budget was ¥20.1 million, one-third of which would have been paid by the Tokyo metropolitan government. [9]

Helsinki and other competitions

Equipment manufactured by Yle, the Finnish broadcasting company, for the purpose of broadcasting coverage of the 1940 Games Equipment made in Yleisradio's workshop at the end of the 1930's intended for broadcasting the 1940 Olympics, ca. 1940. (15301312367).jpg
Equipment manufactured by Yle, the Finnish broadcasting company, for the purpose of broadcasting coverage of the 1940 Games

The IOC then awarded the Games to Helsinki, Finland, the city that had been the runner-up in the original bidding process. The Games were then scheduled to be staged from July 20 to August 4, 1940. The Olympic Games were suspended indefinitely following the outbreak of World War II (Winter War in particular) and did not resume until the London Games of 1948.

With the Olympics cancelled, the major international athletics event of the year turned out to be the annual Finland-Sweden athletics international, held at the new Helsinki Olympic Stadium, exceptionally held as a triple international among Finland, Sweden and Germany. Gliding was due to be an Olympic sport in the 1940 Games after a demonstration at the Berlin Games in 1936. [10] [11] The sport has not been featured in any Games since, though the glider designed for it, the DFS Olympia Meise, was produced in large numbers after the war.

Meanwhile, Japan hosted the 1940 East Asian Games in Tokyo, with six participating nations. Helsinki eventually held the 1952 Summer Olympics, while Tokyo held the 1964 Summer Olympics and will hold the 2020 Summer Olympics.

During August 1940, prisoners of war celebrated a "special Olympics" called the International Prisoner-of-War Olympic Games at Stalag XIII-A in Langwasser, near Nuremberg, Germany. An Olympic flag, 29 by 46 cm in size, was made of a Polish prisoner's shirt and, drawn in crayon, it featured the Olympic rings and banners for Belgium, France, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, and the Netherlands. A feature film, Olimpiada '40 , produced by the director Andrzej Kotkowski in 1980 tells the story of these games and of one of the prisoners of war, Teodor Niewiadomski. [12]

Torch run

Had the 1940 Summer Games been held, a never-before used method of bringing the Olympic Flame from Nazi Germany to Japan was proposed — by air delivery, in the purpose-built Messerschmitt Me 261 Adolfine long-range aircraft, which was designed to have a maximum range of some 11,024 km (6,850 mi) unrefueled. [13]

See also

Notes

  1. Sandra Collins. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement. p. 51
  2. Historical Significance of the Far Eastern Championship Games [ permanent dead link ]. Tsukuba University
  3. 1 2 "Report of the Organizing Committee on Its Work for the Xiith Olympic Games of 1940 in Tokyo Until the Relinquishment" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  4. Sandra Collins. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement. p. 144
  5. Sandra Collins. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement. p. 146
  6. Sandra Collins. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement. p. 149
  7. 橋本一夫『幻の東京オリンピック』(日本放送出版協会、1994年) ISBN   4-14-001709-0
  8. Sandra Collins. The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics: Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement. pp. 161163
  9. Zarnowski, C. Frank (Summer 1992). "A Look at Olympic Costs" (PDF). Citius, Altius, Fortius. 1 (1): 16–32. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
  10. Welch, Ann (1980). The Story of Gliding 2nd edition. John Murray. ISBN   0-7195-3659-6.
  11. "Glider design to be used at the 1940 Olympic Games" . Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  12. Grys, Iwona (April–May 1996). "The Olympic Idea Transcending War" (PDF). Olympic Review. 25 (8): 68–69. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  13. Ray Wagner; Heinz J. Nowarra (1971). German Combat Planes. Doubleday. p. 312.

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References

Further reading

Preceded by
Berlin
Summer Olympic Games
Tokyo/Helsinki (abandoned)

XII Olympiad (1940)
Succeeded by
London