The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd

IOC opts for 'safe, well organised Games' in choosing Tokyo

Japan's ability to organise and deliver on major projects and its fortitude in the face of a major challenge – as demonstrated by rebuilding after the tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – is thought to have won it the 2020 Olympic bid.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stressed the importance to the IOC of ensuring the 2020 games is of the highest quality, saying: "Tokyo presented a very strong technical bid from the outset - and it needed to in competition with such high-calibre bids from Istanbul and Madrid.

"All three cities were capable of staging excellent Games in 2020, but in the end it was Tokyo's bid that resonated the most with the IOC membership. We believe Tokyo will deliver a well-organised, safe Games that will reinforce Olympic values, while demonstrating the benefits of sport to a new generation, by inviting us to 'discover tomorrow'".

Tokyo won a final round of voting by the full members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 125th IOC sessions in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The winning bid received 60 votes to Istanbul's 36 in the final round, with Madrid having been eliminated in the first round after losing a tie-breaker with Istanbul.

The main venue of the 2020 Games will be Tokyo's National Olympic Stadium, built originally for the 1964 Games. Which will be demolished and rebuilt in a US$1bn scheme designed by architect Zaha Hadid. The project will be completed in time for the venue to host games during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Tokyo’s organising committee has budgeted US$10 billion for the Games, including the cost of constructing venues and improving transport infrastructure.

Tokyo last hosted the Summer Games in 1964. At that time it signalled its rebirth as a modern city after the destruction caused by World War II.

Japan's economy has been suffering from deflation for 15 years and government debt has increased to more than twice the size of its US$6 trillion economy, in part because of the costs of caring for the country’s elderly population. Analysts believe one of the main challenges for the government is likely to be justifying the expense of the Games.

However, since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power late last year and adopted more bold monetary and government reforms, Japan has become the fastest-growing country in the G7.

Nomura Securities' chief strategist Hiromichi Tamura, in a report published on 4 July, said the 2020 Olympics is likely to add about US$14 billion to Japan’s economy. Although this is a lower percentage of GDP than the country got from its previous three Olympics: the Summer Games in Tokyo in 1964, and the Winter Games in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998, hosting the Games will bring other benefits. Tamura said the win will fuel consumer confidence and spending, which is the missing part of the puzzle in Japan’s economic recovery so far.

“If the government’s growth strategies go according to plan, the benefits should be obvious to everyone” by 2020, he said. “In the same way that the 1964 Tokyo Olympics showed that Japan had entered the ranks of modern industrialised nations, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could show that Japan is back.”

Tokyo's success in winning both the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games makes this the second Olympic Games to be awarded in tandem with another major sporting event, following the double being tackled by Rio de Janeiro, which hosts both the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.

Image: International Olympic Committee

Japan's ability to organise and deliver on major projects and its fortitude in the face of a major challenge – as demonstrated by rebuilding after the tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – is thought to have won it the 2020 Olympic bid. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stressed the importance to the IOC of ensuring the 2020 games is of the highest quality, saying: "Tokyo
This will be Japan's fourth Olympic Games / International Olympic Committee
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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