Sawa to issue Tokyo 2020 file to IOC

Kyodo

Reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa will present Tokyo’s candidature file for the 2020 Olympics to the International Olympic Committee next month, the Tokyo bid committee announced Friday.

“We must make the bid a success at all costs,” said new Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose, who was installed as the committee’s new chair in place of Shintaro Ishihara the same day.

Sawa, who helped Japan win its first medal in women’s soccer at this summer’s London Olympics, will submit the file on Jan. 7 to the IOC at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The file will detail Tokyo’s plan to host the 2020 Games, which would be the city’s second Summer Olympics after 1964. Tokyo is bidding against Madrid and Istanbul, two cities that have never hosted the Olympics.

The IOC Evaluation Commission will inspect the three cities in March before compiling a final report on the candidates. The winner will be decided next Sept. 7 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

The file will be made public on Jan. 8. Inose is considering attending Tokyo’s presentation to the international media in London on Jan. 10.

Tokyo also announced sponsorship deals with Internet firms Yahoo Japan Corp. and Gree Inc. with the aim of driving up public support for the bid.

In a survey conducted by the bid committee from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, the approval rating for a future Tokyo Olympics dropped one percentage point to 66 percent. The lack of public enthusiasm was one reason Tokyo lost the race for the 2016 Games.

Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda hopes the electronic expertise that Yahoo Japan and Gree bring will help the Tokyo bid reach a broader audience.

“I want to improve the approval rating through the use of the Internet,” Takeda said.