Tokyo’s success in landing the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics was thanks to the country’s all-around effort involving athletes, lawmakers and business leaders, Gov. Naoki Inose said after returning from the International Olympic Committee’s general assembly in Buenos Aires.
“Our bid came to fruition as ‘Team Japan’ worked with good teamwork,” Inose, who is also chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, said Tuesday night while also thanking the public, who “were awake at 5 a.m. cheering for the bid.”
“Frankly speaking, the bid wouldn’t have succeeded if the Japanese Olympic Committee worked alone,” said former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who was vice chairman of the bid council and went to the general assembly.
“The victory was possible because members of various sectors, including political, governmental, business, cultural and sports circles, took various measures to reach out to around 100 IOC members,” Mori said.
Paralympian Mami Sato, who was credited with making an emotional presentation to the IOC general assembly, said she was honored to be a speaker for Tokyo’s bid.
“I feel great as my presentation came out well and Tokyo succeeded in getting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics,” she said.
Masato Mizuno, CEO of the bid committee, fencer Yuki Ota, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, and bid ambassador Christel Takigawa also attended Tuesday night’s news conference at the metropolitan government building.
Prior to the news conference, the delegates, including Inose, Mizuno, Ota and Sato, appeared before an estimated 8,000 people who gathered in a square in front of the building.
“We’re back from Buenos Aires now. Your cheers reached all the way to Buenos Aires,” Inose told them. “The ‘All Japan’ team gained this victory.”
In the final round of voting to decide the host city, Tokyo garnered 60 votes to clinch the win in a secret ballot by IOC members, while Istanbul received 36. The Turkish city beat Madrid 49-45 in a tiebreaker after each received 26 in the first round, where Tokyo had 42 votes.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 24 to Aug. 9, while the Tokyo Paralympics will run Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.
It will be the second Olympics for Tokyo, which hosted the Summer Games back in 1964. The Japanese capital will be the first Asian city to hold the prestigious event twice.