Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Summer Games, was seen as the safest course for the International Olympic Committee, because of its experience organizing major events and its sense of economic security in a time of political and financial uncertainty across the globe. Japan has twice hosted the Winter Games, more recently in Nagano in 1998, and it co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea.
Japan offers a $4.5 billion guaranteed reserve fund, plenty of hotel rooms for visitors and a dependable transportation system. The selection of Tokyo, conducted in a secret ballot by about 100 I.O.C. members gathered here, was also seen as a chance to help a willing and sturdy Olympic partner recover from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
At a gymnasium packed with about 2,000 people in the center of Tokyo, some waved banners that read “Definitely Tokyo 2020!” and “We won’t give up!”
The moment the result of the vote was flashed on a big screen, the place erupted in cheers and a drawn-out “Tokyo” chant as gold streamers rained down on the crowd.
“I’m very happy, of course,” said Kawate Tomoko, 46, a sports trainer. “And I hope that we can do a proper job in front of the world.”
“I’m looking forward to the Olympics. By then, I’ll be able to complete as an athlete!” said Yuta Makabe, 11.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the public broadcaster NHK that the delegation’s members had been at the edge of their seats until the last minute.
“My heart was pounding, but I’m now very happy,” he said. “I think we got across our message that we are a safe and sure choice for the Olympics.”
Gov. Naoki Inose of Tokyo, who caused a stir this year when he made remarks in a New York Times interview seemingly disparaging Muslims, said that nationwide support for the bid had carried through.
“And now we have brought energy, we have brought hope to Japan,” he said.
Istanbul had been seen as a front-runner to host the 2020 competition, as it offered a transcontinental Games that would have straddled Europe and Asia, placing the Olympics for the first time in a predominantly Muslim country.
But Istanbul’s chances were considered to have suffered a setback when the police responded harshly to antigovernment protests there in June. The protests evolved into a wider movement against what critics called the autocratic style of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Madrid had been seen as another strong contender, but its battered economy and high unemployment rate, and its poor record on doping, were thought to have scared off Olympic officials.
The Tokyo bid was far from a sure thing, however. In recent years, the I.O.C. and FIFA, organizer of soccer’s World Cup, have pushed to expand their reach by awarding major events to cities or regions that had never played host before. Some felt that Japan was too familiar a host to win for 2020, and that Asia had had its share of Olympic attention: the 2008 Olympics took place in Beijing and the 2018 Winter Games will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
But as Japan’s delegation celebrated its victory Saturday, it was clear that those fears had been brushed aside.
Source Article from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/sports/olympics/tokyo-wins-bid-for-2020-olympics.html
For 2020 Olympics, IOC Picks Tokyo, Considered Safe Choice – New York Times
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