Tokyo announces 2020 Olympic bid

Tokyo formally announced on Saturday its bid to host the 2020 Olympics as a symbol of Japan’s determination to recover from the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) president Tsunekazu Takeda said that his executive committee had approved Tokyo’s bid at a special meeting earlier in the day after the capital failed to capture the 2016 Games.

“Japan must recover from the great earthquake disaster,” he told a reception in Tokyo marking the 100th anniversary of the JOC, which was attended by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

“We wish to make the 2020 Olympics a symbol of our recovery.”

Tokyo’s outspoken governor, Shintaro Ishihara, said as he proposed a toast at the reception: “There is no meaning in fighting a battle that is the Olympic bidding if we don’t win it.”

“Tokyo won’t mind fighting a bloody battle in building facilities. I want the JOC to win a bloody battle [in leading the bid] no matter what.”

In 2009, Tokyo lost to Rio de Janeiro in the race to host the 2016 Games, along with Madrid and Chicago.

When he was re-elected governor in April, Ishihara made it clear that Tokyo would bid for its second Olympic Games—it hosted the 1964 edition.

Rome and Madrid have announced their candidacies for 2020, while Istanbul and Doha are also reportedly considering bids.

Candidates must submit their entry by September 1 and the winner will be chosen in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

Ishihara has repeatedly expressed his ambition to stage the 2020 Olympics despite the 2016 bid attracting only limited public support.

Tokyo said it spent around 15-billion yen ($180-million) on the failed bid to stage a compact and “green” Olympics by reducing carbon emissions from Games-related projects and operations.—AFP


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