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SBD Global/September 9, 2013/Olympics
Olympics Bid Expected To Boost Construction, Tourism In Japan As Nation Celebrates
Published September 9, 2013
TRADITION AND STABILITY: REUTERS' Ossian Shine wrote IOC presidential candidate Thomas Bach said that "it had been a choice between a traditional stronghold and new shores." Bach said, "This time the IOC members -- in a fragile world -- have decided in favor of tradition and stability." The country's financial might and its position in the world's most dynamic continent "proved irresistible." The Japanese capital flashed a $4.5B war-chest in front of the IOC a year before the vote, "assuring them money for the Games was already in the bank." This "was music to the ears of an IOC membership acutely sensitive to the impact the global economic downturn of recent years has had on sports, especially at a grass-roots level" (REUTERS, 9/8). KYODO reported people in Tokyo rejoiced Saturday "as the city was chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics" by the IOC in Buenos Aires. Close to 2,000 people watching a live broadcast of the IOC's general session on a large screen at the Komazawa Olympic Park gymnasium "erupted in cheers as IOC President Jacques Rogge opened the envelope holding the results of voting and read the city's name" at around 5:20am. Gold ticker tape shot over the crowd, "many of whom had spent the night there ahead of the vote by IOC members" (KYODO, 9/8). XINHUA's Day, Chao & Tian wrote "some Tokyoites thought obtaining the opportunity is an inspiring success for Japan after the devastating March 11 earthquake more than two years ago." Miki Koda, a 34-year-old housewife who alluded to losing family members in 2011 said, "It's an historic day for Tokyo and Japan. We really needed this good news today as a nation and after all the suffering from the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The country really needed to hear some good news" (XINHUA, 9/8).
IS IT SAFE? In London, David McNeill wrote "many have expressed concerns that a litany of crises faced by the Japanese government makes it entirely unsuitable to host such a global event." Experts "have blamed Japan's government and nuclear regulators for taking their eye off the Fukushima clean-up" since Abe returned to power late last year. Former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland Mitsuhei Murata said, "It is immoral to invite the Olympic Games to Japan where the health environment cannot be secured." He called for Tokyo's bid to be withdrawn until what he called Japan's "lack of crisis" is remedied (INDEPENDENT, 9/8).
AUSSIES PLEASED: In Sydney, Jacquelin Magnay wrote Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said that "winning the 2020 Olympics was the best result for Australian athletes." Coates said that Tokyo's similar time zone and proximity to Australia, coupled with Australia's history of strong results in Asian countries, "meant winning medals in Tokyo would be far easier than if the rival options of Istanbul or Madrid had won" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/9).