French President Emmanuel Macron is in Tokyo today for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games. He is one of the few foreign dignitaries in the Japanese capital for the event after organizers suppressed the case. usually lavish and participation limited. Only about 950 people will be in the stands, including American First Lady Jill Biden, who arrived in Tokyo on Thursday evening.
France is preparing to host the 2024 games, and this could prove to be one of the lasting legacies of Mr Macron’s presidency.
But the French president expressed great concern in 2019 admitting that some of the poorest neighborhoods in Paris were not seeing the benefits of the successful bid.
He said: “At the moment, we are not achieving the targets that we should have for the parts of the Paris region most affected by this great event.
“It is clear that the region, and especially Seine-Saint-Denis because it will be the most affected by several major novelties, is not getting a fair return.
The Seine-Saint-Denis district is slated to be at the very heart of the Paris games – it is a region ravaged by the highest poverty and crime rates in France.
It is home to the famous Stade de France, which will undergo a major redevelopment while a new aquatic center will also be built.
Many people living in Seine-Saint Denis were also furious, criticizing Mr. Macron’s words.
READ MORE: Brexit warning: 26 EU states ‘line up’ to face UK against Ireland
The president of Seine-Saint-Denis, Stéphane Troussel, was also scathing in the face of Mr. Macron’s remarks.
He said: “The legacy of the Olympics is a battle that I have been waging for months… to try to encourage the state to do more.
“I tell him (Macron), better late than never. “
Tony Estanguet, the former Olympic canoe-kayak champion who heads the Paris 2024 organizing committee, said he was in favor of “the ambition that the Head of State has reaffirmed”.
He added: “We can obviously go further by helping people with a very motivated state on our side. “
DO NOT MISS
Brexit tussles over as Macron becomes Johnson’s ‘biggest problem’ [INSIGHT]
EU: Macron and Merkel could prevent British tourists from entering the bloc [ANALYSIS]
Brexit: Macron warned Johnson that “you signed the deal” [INSIGHT]
The yellow vests are a populist movement militant for economic justice that began in France in October 2018.
They became known for the huge protests in Paris that still happen today.
The movement saw protesters attacking fuel taxes initially, but that anger has spread to other issues.
Tokyo 2020 started with its own issues.
Kentaro Kobayashi, a popular artist in Japan who led the opening ceremony that will take place tonight, was sacked this week after a video clip surfaced online of a skit in which he joked about a game he ‘he called’ let’s play slaughter of the Jews’.