Tokyo outlines vision for 2020 Olympics bid

Kyodo

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics bid committee revealed details of its official application to host the games Thursday, hoping its vision for a compact event to revitalize Japan after the March disasters will trump rival cities.

After losing out to Rio de Janeiro in the race for the 2016 Games, Tokyo’s latest application claims it could stage the 2020 Olympics for half the cost estimated in its previous bid, projecting a total budget of around ¥7.5 billion.

The application was submitted Monday to the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, two days before the deadline.

“Tokyo has submitted the application and we have been given a very high evaluation,” Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said during a news conference Thursday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.

“We have worked hard to improve the plans we presented in 2016 to make sure they are fully integrated with the city and its residents,” Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said.

Twenty-eight of the 31 competition venues, including the Olympic Stadium, would be located within an 8-km radius of the Olympic village. The 2016 plan proposed building the Olympic Stadium on a pier on Tokyo’s waterfront, and the IOC ultimately deemed that access to the site would have been insufficient.

The new application proposes building a National Stadium with a capacity of 80,000 spectators at the site of the 1964 venue, regardless of the race’s outcome. The bid has dubbed the stadium the “jewel in the crown” of its venue plan.

The new stadium would be used for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletics, soccer and rugby.

Of the total budget to host the Olympics, 51 percent would be financed by the private sector and the metro government would fund the rest.

Tokyo is vying with Madrid, Istanbul, Doha and Baku for the hugely lucrative Summer Games this time round. The Olympics will be held for 17 days, from July 24 to Aug. 9.

“We had the honor of hosting the games in 1964 and it was a wonderful success that all Japanese remember. Tokyo 2020 hopes to build upon that legacy for future generations,” said Masato Mizuno, who is heading Tokyo’s 2020 bid.