Tokyo pushes safety, compact size in second pitch for 2020 Olympics

JIJI

In a presentation here Saturday, Tokyo said that it is the best city to host the 2020 Summer Olympics because of its safe environment and repeated its plan to deliver a compact games.

At a general meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees, Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and head of the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, said that holding the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the heart of the capital will have a spirit of celebration and passion that will be unforgettable for athletes and fans.

During its 15-minute second presentation at the ANOC meeting, which brought together officials from the National Olympic Committees of 201 countries and regions, Rie Tanaka, a gymnast from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, said Japan has an unmatched passion for sport. She said the thought of the world’s greatest athletes competing in Tokyo is truly inspiring.

The Tokyo presentation team stressed that 85 percent of the venues will be within 8 km of the Olympic village and that accommodations for officials from participating countries and regions can be secured in districts near the city center.

The team also said Tokyo is the safest city in the world, based on a survey of 75,000 travelers. The skyline is beautiful and the roads are clean, it said, adding that taxi drivers are friendly.

Tokyo has hosted the Summer Games once, in 1964.

Istanbul and Madrid, Tokyo’s rivals, made their own pitches.

Ugur Erdener, head of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, promoted the merits of making Istanbul the host. While Turkey has been shaken by anti-government demonstrations, Erdener said he hopes they will subside and welcomed dialogue.

Madrid said the Spanish capital is free from impacts related to the European financial crisis.

The three cities are slated to make a third set of pitches in July.