Call for a Global Day of Action to Protest the Conversion of Miyashita Park into ‘Nike Park’
–To be held on March 31st, 2010–
On March 10, the Shibuya Park Division announced that the Shibuya Ward Assembly’s Urban Environment Commission has given the green light to construction which will lead to the all-out conversion of Miyashita Park by sporting goods giant NIKE.
According to the official report, the project plan is expected to proceed as follows:
– March 24: NIKE will explain plans to local residents in a briefing session
– Mid-March: Total closure of the Harajuku section of the park
– April 1: Commencement of construction to convert the park
– Late April to late July: Construction to install a new skateboarding facility
– August to September: Construction to install a new rock climbing wall
– End of October: Construction ends
– Early November: Opening of the new park
Under a contract signed between the Mayor of Shibuya and the chairman of NIKE, the company will be responsible for paying all construction costs (estimated at approx. 4 to 5 hundred million yen, or 4.5-5.5 million US dollars) as well as an annual 17 million yen (approx. 187,000 US dollars) fee payable to Shibuya Ward for a 10 year lease to the naming rights for Miyashita Park, allowing NIKE to rename the (formerly) public space ‘Nike Park’. By this arrangement NIKE is being availed of, at a very low cost, an expansive swath of land located in one of the most valuable commercial districts in the world.
Since the signing of the contract in August of last year, growing numbers of local residents, park users, and concerned citizens have expressed their opposition to the plan. Organized protest has thus far successfully resulted in the stalling of park construction, which was originally planned for September 2009. (For coverage of the situation in late-2008, see http://bit.ly/4jYOvZ)
However, both Shibuya Ward and NIKE are adamant about pushing ahead with the plan. Not only has the commencement of construction been scheduled, but the Shibuya Ward Assembly is also currently reviewing a new “Ordinance for the Administration of Sports Facilities in Miyashita Park” along with amendments to the “Shibuya Ward Public Parks Ordinance” in order to give full legitimacy to the creation of ‘Nike Park’.
From the time that the plan to turn Miyashita Park into Nike Park came to light in May 2008, The Coalition to Protect Miyashita Park has been tirelessly working in pursuit of a singular goal: Shibuya Ward’s abandonment of this project. Our next step towards the achievement of this aim will take place in the form of a Global Day of Action on March 31st…Please join us!
We invite you, individuals and organizations from around the world, to schedule simultaneous actions in support of our protest on March 31st.
Raise your voice and let NIKE know that you don’t believe public land should be exploited by corporate entities—especially when that land was obtained through undemocratic processes, without any public hearings or input.
Action in Tokyo will be held as follows.
Wednesday, March 24
12-1pm – Protest in front of NIKE Japan Headquarters
6:30-8:30pm – Information distribution prior to the NIKE briefing session
Wednesday, March 31 (Global Day of Action)
1:00pm – Observe deliberations at the Shibuya Ward Assembly
6:00pm – Rally to protest commencement of construction (Shibuya Rodo Fukushi Kaikan)
6:30-7:30 – Demonstration
Please contact Toshiro Ogaki to add your name/organization to the list of participants in our Global Day of Action, and also briefly let us know of your action plan. Thank you for your support and we look forward to making a success of this campaign!!
Founding Statement by the Coalition to Protect Miyashita Park
Call for the 2008 International Day of Action
The Coalition to Protect Miyashita Park
NIKE BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN (Japanese)
The Coalition to Protect Miyashita Park from Becoming Nike Park
Contact: Toshiro Ogaki, nojiren (at) jca.apc.org