Japan Needs to Brush Up on Its Geography

by Kevin Jon Heller

The quote of the day, from Japan’s failed bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup (which went to Qatar, much to the surprise of the Americans):

Japan, probably the biggest outsider, threw the longest Hail Mary, suggesting it would beam the games into stadiums all around the world in 3D, digitally replicating the games live in the foreign stadiums. But here its presentation dug to the crux of it in like fashion. That its bid has been relegated to fantasy was most evident by its bizarre clip on the dreams of Japan’s children and the “smiles” it promised to “deliver to 208 countries.”

I realize the number of countries in the world is a political issue, but I’m relatively sure even the most inclusive count does not yield 208.  Or perhaps Japan has learned something new about Transnistria* and a bunch of other independence-minded places from WikiLeaks…

* Edited for stupidity — the original said Moldova.  As my co-blogger Chris points out, Moldova already is a country…


4 Responses

  1. To be fair, there are 208 member associations of FIFA, which I’m sure is what the Japanese bid was referring to.

  2. Thanks for the info, Matthew!

  3.  Kevin, I’m assuming your last line was the geopolitical equivalent of freudian slip becuase Moldova is a country, Transnistria is not. as for why there are 208 FIFA associations, while almost all of the member associations of FIFA are associations that are coextensive with an existing state, some (like the associations for Scotland and Wales) are technically associations within an existing state. As for some associations that don’t make it into FIFA, see this.

  4. Chris,


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