Inose welcomes IOC inspectors to Tokyo

Kyodo

The head of the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission arrived Friday for an on-site inspection this week of Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games.

IOC Vice President Craig Reedie was welcomed by Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda and Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who expressed confidence that the commission will leave the city impressed by its bid package.

“I told (Reedie) what an enormous success the London Olympics were,” Inose said. “We will provide them the kind of hospitality only a city like Tokyo can offer.”

The commission will conduct inspections from Monday to Thursday before heading to Madrid for a round of checks from March 18 to 21, followed by a trip to Istanbul from March 24 to 27.

The host of the 2020 Summer Games will be decided Sept. 7 at an IOC session in Buenos Aires.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also pledged Friday that his government will make all-out efforts to bring the games to Tokyo.

“Hosting the Olympics will give dreams, hopes and inspirations to the people and will be a symbol of reconstruction from the (March 2011) earthquake and tsunami,” Abe told the inaugural round of a ministerial meeting on hosting the 2020 Summer Games.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Abe will attend a welcoming event Monday for the IOC delegation. Abe will also host a reception Wednesday for the officials, who will be joined by Princess Hisako, widow of the late Prince Takamado, Suga said.