JOC chief virtually guarantees bid


Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda on Friday virtually announced that Tokyo will bid for the 2020 Olympics, reiterating Japan’s commitment to organize the Summer Games for the first time since 1964.

“We have a responsibility and obligation to meet the expectations placed on us,” said Takeda. “We must bring the Olympics back to Japan. Unfortunately, we missed out on 2016 but since then we have been doing everything we can to prepare for 2020.

“I cannot formally announce the bid at this moment, but we believe the Olympics will aid in the recovery and reconstruction of this country, and we want to help create a new Japan for the future, for our children.”

“We are convinced the Olympics will be beneficial to the entire nation,” he said.

Takeda’s comments came toward the end of a symposium to mark the 100th anniversary of the JOC. A press conference is scheduled following Saturday’s centennial event which will be attended by both the Emperor and Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Tokyo campaigned for the 2016 Olympics with little public support, losing in the second round of voting won by Rio de Janeiro.