Inose pitches Tokyo ’20 Games bid

With candidacy now in IOC's hands, final push starts to get Olympics

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

With the final round of the bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics kicking off, top politicians and athletes vowed Tuesday to win the competition to bring the games to Tokyo.

“The bid is now entering its key stage,” Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose told reporters at City Hall.

On Monday, ambassadors for Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, including Homare Sawa, a 2012 Olympics silver medalist soccer player, presented the capital’s candidature file to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.

Tokyo’s presentation to the IOC was followed by the other two cities bidding to host the 2020 Games: Istanbul and Madrid.

Starting Tuesday, the three cities are allowed to do their promotion activities overseas, and the IOC will announce the host city Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires.

“The start is important,” said Inose, who will have a press conference in London Thursday to pitch Tokyo’s plan.

Inose stressed Tokyo’s multifaceted urban quality, noting the capital has traditions based on its long history as well as cutting-edge technologies and new cultures created by young people.

“Holding the Olympics in the middle of Tokyo would produce a dynamic event the likes of which the world has never seen,” said Inose at the press conference, which was also attended by education minister Hakubun Shimomura and Saori Yoshida, a three-time gold medalist freestyle wrestler, and Wakako Tsuchida, a wheelchair athlete who has won Paralympic golds.

The candidature document specifies aspects such as the host’s vision, financial plans, the disposition of venues, accommodations, as well as transportation in the form of responsesto 14 categories of questions from the IOC.

Tokyo’s plan for a “compact” Olympics is based on placing 85 percent of the competition venues within 8 km of the Harumi district in Chuo Ward, where the athlete’s village would be built.

Four stadiums outside Tokyo will be used — Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido, Miyagi Stadium, Saitama Stadium and Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

Inose said winning the bid will greatly support the reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region, as Miyagi Stadium will host soccer games and torch runners will run through the area.

When Tokyo failed to win the bid for the 2016 Olympics, the lack of public passion and weak lobbying at the IOC were considered major causes of the loss.

Inose said the political situation was unstable in 2009 when the final bids took place, with the looming change of government. The media were little interested in Tokyo’s bid, he added.

Information from Kyodo added