Japan Prime Minister Says Tokyo An 'Inspirational Choice' For 2020 Olympic Games
Japan PM Shinzo Abe told Olympic officials on Monday that "Tokyo would be an inspirational choice to host the 2020 Olympic Games," with Japan keen to showcase its recovery from a devastating '11 earthquake and tsunami, according to Elaine Lies of REUTERS. Abe made sure that an inspection tour by an IOC team "got off to a heavyweight start." Tokyo, which lost the bidding for '16 to Rio de Janeiro, "faces Istanbul and Madrid this time around." The evaluation team, headed by IOC VP Craig Reedie, arrived in Japan on Friday "to the cheers of flag-waving children." Their tour began formally on Monday "with an explanation of the city's bid and a visit to several sites, including the waterfront area set to become the Olympic Village." The Tokyo government estimates that the Games would increase demand by 1.22T yen ($13B) "in tourism, sales of Olympic goods and household spending." With private sector investments included, the total impact is likely to hit 3T yen ($32B) nationwide and "include the creation of 150,000 jobs" (REUTERS, 3/4). The AFP reported the IOC team, is tasked with checking "Candidature Files" submitted by the three cities in January on 14 themes "including infrastructure, finance, and political and public support." Tokyo's plan features a "compact" and "dynamic" Olympics based on its financial wealth and track record in hosting int'l sports events. Tokyo is "the only one among the three candidates" that has ever hosted the Games (AFP, 3/4).