Japan aimed to hold the Olympics in a modest manner, which was partly in consideration of the Army’s plans for military build-up. Still, following the successful bid of Tokyo City, the 12th Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee was established in December 1936, and preparations began for the construction of sporting venues and hotels.
Document 3 is the first newsletter of the Organizing Committee.

Document 4 is an article titled “Preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games moving right along” from issue No. 8 of Shashin Shuho. This issue was published on April 6, 1938, two years before the Olympics were to be hosted. The article shows the condition of the facilities that were prepared for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It contains photos of candidate venues for the main competitions, a golf course in Komazawa, the Meiji Shrine Outer Park Stadium, and a yacht harbor in Yokohama. It also describes the rush in the construction and renovation of hotels, the introduction of commemorative goods with the five-ring Olympic emblem, and other related news.

However, a negative mood in regards to Tokyo’s hosting of the Olympics began to emerge both in Japan and overseas. This negativity was the result of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident that occurred on July 7, 1937. By 1938, many began to believe the Sino-Japanese War to become a drawn-out conflict. The Army also started to object to the selection of athletes for the Olympic Games.

In addition, many countries asked Japan about the state of Sino-Japanese relations at the IOC session held in Cairo in March 1938. Before the session started, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Finland all demanded that the Olympics be cancelled. On the other hand, Japan came away from the session with the impression that the United States held a favorable stance towards the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Document 5 is the record of a presentation about the Tokyo Olympic Games and the attitudes of the major world powers at the IOC session in Cairo. This presentation was given at the regular meeting of the Society for Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy by Matsuzo Nagai, the Secretary-General of the Tokyo Olympic Committee and a member of the Society. The document reveals that Nagai believed the U.S. Olympic Committee was receptive and held a stance different from that of the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries, which were opposed to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, the IOC President Count Baillet-Latour received more than 150 telegraphs expressing opposition to the Tokyo Olympic Games

Document 6 is a telegraph that was sent by the Ambassador to Belgium Saburo Kurusu to the Minister of the Foreign Affairs Koki Hirota on April 5, 1938. In this telegraph, Ambassador Kurusu reports that Count Baillet-Latour visited the Ambassador’s office and recommended that Japan should decline from holding the Olympic Games.

Likewise, while the United States originally had not voiced any opposition, the situation there had begun to change.

Document 7, a report on June 22, 1938 from the Consul General of New York Kaname Wakasugi to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kazushige Ugaki, reveals that two members of the U.S. Olympic Committee had resigned in protest to United States’ intention to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Document 8 is a set of reports on news articles in newspapers from different countries, and includes a Japanese translation of an article that appeared in the New York Daily Mirror on July 13, 1938. In this particular article, the newspaper criticized the U.S. athletes who had not declared their intent to boycott the Tokyo Olympic Games.


Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, National Archives of Japan