JEXA Protests Against Temporary Closure of Tokyo Big Sight
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s (TMG) plan to close Tokyo’s largest purpose-built exhibition venue, Tokyo Big Sight (TBS), during the 2020 Summer Olympics has led to street protests by Japan’s exhibition industry association.
TBS will be used as the international press centre during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. As a result of this plan, about 300 members of the Japan Exhibition Association (JEXA) protested outside the offices of the TMG on 5th October.
The Japanese exhibition industry opposes the plan and JEXA estimates that 232 exhibitions will be cancelled during the closure period and 78,000 exhibition-related companies will lose in sales of approximately 230 billion yen (US$2.05 billion).
TMG plans to build a 23,000 m2 temporary facility during the closure of Tokyo Big Sight, but the exhibition industry maintains that this is not enough space. Takaki Shimo of the newly formed “Protect the Life and Employment of People Working in the Exhibition Industry” organisation stated, “The size of the temporary exhibition hall is one quarter the size of TBS. Therefore, job opportunities for exhibitors, service companies and craftsman will shrink to a quarter of the present scale.”