Ishihara eyes another Olympics bid, this time 2020

by Takahiro Fukada

Staff Writer

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara expressed his intention Friday to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, to show the world that Japan has recovered from the ravages of the March 11 twin disasters and despite falling short in seeking the 2016 Games.

Saying the reconstruction effort from the Great East Japan Earthquake is unprecedented and comparable with rebuilding from the ashes after World War II, Ishihara said Tokyo’s bid will be a symbol of Japan’s recovery.

“If we can show that Japan has recovered, and we will, nine years later, it will be the best appreciation for the friendship and encouragement that were given to us from all over the world” in the wake of the disasters, Ishihara said during a session of the metropolitan assembly.

“Keeping the torch burning” in pursuit of the Olympics “will have a great significance for our country’s future,” he said.

Ishihara also called for support from the residents of Tokyo and the rest of the country.

Tokyo lost in 2009 to Rio de Janeiro in the race to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, using ¥15 billion in taxpayer money for the campaign. Officials say Tokyo still has a special ¥400 billion fund for hosting the games.

Applications must reach the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 1. The winner will be decided at the IOC general assembly in Buenos Aires in 2013, metro officials said, adding Rome is also likely to bid for the games.