1964 Olympics = Bullet Trains, 2020 Olympics = ??
Japan as is popularly known made a phenomenal recovery in the post war period and by 1964 was holding events like the 1964 Olympics in a modern city of that time complete with world class infrastructure. The main symbols of this were the bullet trains (Shinkansen) and the highest of the time communications tower, the Tokyo Tower.
These symbols serve to remind average Japanese of their efforts at a high paced recovery and many documentaries routinely make reference to the post war efforts for the country. It served as a psychological boost to the common man who dreamed of a rebuilding the Japanese economy on the backbone of technology and manufacturing prowess with an export oriented mindset.
Fast forward to 2020 and though many things have changed and Japan is not the lone manufacturing power with Korea and China snapping at its heels. Even today high class technology innovation comes from Japanese companies and if 2020 Summer Olympics need to showcase the best what Japan has to offer, it can be the MIRAI car announced from Toyota this week.
The 300-mile zero-emission vehicle can showcase the next for Japan, a zero carbon footprint vehicle. Slated to go on commercial sales early next year, Mirai (word meaning “future” in Japanese) if gets adopted at a mass level in Japan will be one strong message for Japan to carry to the world.
The car priced at around 50000 US dollars, post some government subsidies was mentioned by the Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on NHK this week to have at-least 6000 cars on the road by the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 with 35 stations fo hydrogen fuel refilling to be newly installed in the city.
Still a relatively low target, it would be awesome to see many more on the roads during the Olympics and make it a “GREEN” OLYMPICS event. Masuzoe rightly understands that adoption will come with more fueling stations to be put in various parts of the city and Mirai along-with the HONDA and NISSAN offerings collectively can should make a mark on the Olympics scene by then. Hopefully we see not 6000 but a far larger number of “clean” vehicles in Tokyo.