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SBD Global/September 3, 2013/Olympics
Tokyo, Istanbul, Madrid Make Final Arguments For Right To Host 2020 Summer Olympics
Published September 3, 2013
A 'SAFE' BET: KYODO's Dave Hueston reported Tokyo appears by most accounts "the slight favorite against Madrid and Istanbul." Most experts give Tokyo a narrow lead as the "safest" choice among the three in a time of political and economic instability (KYODO, 9/2). The AP reported heading into the final days of the contest to host the 2020 Olympics, "Tokyo is hoping concern over leaks of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant won't damage its image as the safest choice among the bids." Despite the unwelcome headlines, "Tokyo organizers will head to Buenos Aires emphasizing the city's financial security and superior existing infrastructure." Tokyo has an existing $4.5B fund for Olympic construction "and enjoys the support of the national government." Much of Tokyo's infrastructure "is already in place." By contrast, "Istanbul would require the most spending and infrastructure work of the three cities," with a capital budget estimated at $16.8B (AP, 9/2). REUTERS' Elaine Lies wrote "lukewarm support was one of the factors that sank Japan's bid for the 2016 Olympics that went to Rio de Janeiro." The bid committee said as recently as mid-'12 only 47% "were in favor of Tokyo hosting the 2020 games." According to a late August poll by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, though, 74% said that "they supported the games." Another survey, out last month, had 62% support (REUTERS, 8/31).
ROYAL APPEARANCE: KYODO reported Princess Hisako will attend Saturday's general meeting of the IOC "to select the 2020 Summer Olympic host from three candidate cities" (KYODO, 9/2).