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SBD Global/September 13, 2012/Olympics

Japan's Island Disputes Could Affect Its Bid For The 2020 Summer Olympics

The vote to determine the host of the 2020 Olympic Games is less than one year away, and Tokyo's chances of landing the event "could slip away in the wake of Japan's ongoing involvement in island disputes with South Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan," according to Gallagher & Odeven of THE JAPAN TIMES. It is an old cliche to say that "every vote counts," but in determining Olympic hosts that is exactly the case, "and the stakes could not be higher." In the past, the host city has often been determined "by five votes or fewer." The "ongoing fiery rhetoric with other countries in the region could jeopardize Tokyo's bid to host the Olympics" for the first time since '64. The vote to determine the site for the 2020 Games will be held in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, "who was the face of the capital's failed bid to host the 2016 Games," is now at the forefront of the dispute over the Senkaku Islands. When questioned about whether the problems with regional neighbors could result in Tokyo losing the election, Ishihara said, "I don't have much (concern)." Ishihara blamed Taiwanese IOC member Wu Ching-kuo for being anti-Japanese, which is a "perfect example" of why the 2020 bid organizers have made former Mizuno Chair Masato Mizuno the new face of Tokyo's effort (THE JAPAN TIMES, 9/12).
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