Man’s best friend

He’s the star of a sad true story that’s moved Japanese people for nearly a century. Now Japan’s most famous dog is set to gain fans from around the world, thanks to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Movies, books and cartoons have been made about Hachiko the loyal canine who, when his owner died, reacted in an extraordinary and very human manner.

Many Japanese people and foreign tourists visit the Tokyo grave of Hachiko, who for nearly a decade waited for his deceased owner every day at their usual meeting point. Now the dog’s resting place is set to become a bigger tourist attraction due to its location near Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium.

After cancelling the 2020 Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tokyo is now pushing ahead with this event, which is scheduled to begin on July 23. Japan has invested close to $20 billion into holding the Olympics. A large portion of that expenditure has gone on building facilities in Tokyo’s two Olympic precincts — the Tokyo Bay zone and the Heritage zone.

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