January 16, 2018

Olympic Games: South Korea and Japan Relocation

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Olympic Games: South Korea and Japan Relocation

Posted by: Paul Franco, Director of Strategic Business Solutions, Asia Pacific

Major world events, like the Olympic Games, can present a number of relocation challenges which can impact an organisation and its international assignees. The 2018 Winter Olympics, starting in Pyeongchang next month, marks the start of a busy two-year period as Asian countries host two successive Olympic Games.

South Korea hosts the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from 9 February to 18 March 2018. And, two years later, Japan hosts the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games between 24 July and 6 September.

On Your Marks… Get Set…

With London 2012 and Sochi 2014 still fresh in many peoples’ minds, you would be forgiven for thinking that preparation for 2020 can wait. However, for organisations with scheduled moves into and out of Japan, early preparation will go a long way to ensure your relocation programme remains on track.


Be the first out of the blocks. Temporary accommodation typically becomes increasingly limited and immigration services will get progressively busier as organisers, athletes, officials and visitors travel to the host nations. Thinking ahead to Japan in 2020, try to book temporary accommodation and initiate immigration services well in advance.

Settle into your stride. Expect there to be varying levels of disruption as the host country works to update and improve its infrastructure. Be sure to allow additional time for the delivery of destination services when planning assignments to these locations.

Clearing all hurdles. Property rental prices may increase as landlords/agents speculate on a rise in demand. Schedule moves carefully, consider neighbourhoods further away from facilities that are scheduled to host events and adjust assignee housing allowances accordingly. 

Getting your assignees across the finish line. Having the opportunity to live and work in a country hosting an Olympic Games is a fantastic experience. However, it is important that your assignees are prepared for daily life during the Games. Set expectations before the move and outline potential challenges that they may encounter. Consider bringing assignments forward or delaying them until after the events have finished. If delaying assignments, be mindful that the Paralympics’ closing ceremony occurs several weeks after the conclusion of the Olympics’ closing ceremony.

Additional Resources

  • Download Cartus’ Market Watch documents for additional information on the potential relocation challenges in South Korea and Japan.

And look out for more Cartus communications in the run up to the events.

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Posted By

Paul Franco

About Paul

Paul is Cartus’ Director of Strategic Business Solutions in Asia Pacific. He has over 15 years experience in relocation and has lived and worked in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand.

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