Before considering the organization of the 1972 Winter Olympic Games in Sapporo, it is important to understand linguistic and semantic differences between safety and security. As briefly discussed by Christian Tagsold in Chapter 3 on the 1964 Winter Tokyo Games, in Japanese, “safety” and “security” are generally translated as anzen. When a more subjective, perceptional, and emotional dimension of these terms is considered, the word anshin is preferred. The word chiari has been used in discussing concerns of public safety and national security, while chian-jousei (security situation) or chian-iji (maintaining security) are often used in official discourses like police reports on tasks concerning “law and order.” Actually, chian may imply both public safety and national security, depending on the contexts in which it is used. In recent mass media discourse on criminal activities, we find sensational reporting on police concerns for chian-akka, which means corruption of public safety. This has become a way of legitimizing introduction of tight surveillance policy. In these cases, threat to the public safety is regarded as “crime as violation of law.” In a mundane way of talking about how to realize order in society in response to real or imagined threats, it is often said that we have to ascertain security, or sekyuritii, as the word has been incorporated into Japanese. In recent sociopolitical context of Japan where the threat of crime is somehow exaggerated, the terms chian or sekyuritii could be understood as the counterpart of “public safety” in English.
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