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Volume 6 No. 197
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IOC Evaluation Commission 'Hugely Impressed' With Tokyo's 2022 Bid Following Visit

The IOC's Evaluation Commission called Tokyo's effort in the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics "very impressive," as it wrapped up a four-day inspection of the Japanese capital on Thursday, according to Dave Hueston of KYODO. IOC Evaluation Commission Chair Craig Reedie said, "Our role is to make a technical assessment highlighting the risks and opportunities of the Tokyo 2020 bid." Reedie led the London 2012 bid committee and sat on evaluation commissions in '08 and Tokyo's failed bid for '16. He said that Tokyo "benefited from a wide range of contributions from the business community as well." Reedie "praised Tokyo's efforts" in presentations to the IOC commission. Reedie: "We have been hugely impressed by the bid presentations" (KYODO, 3/7).

PUBLIC SUPPORT: REUTERS' Elaine Lies noted in Tokyo's favor is the fact that "many of its venues are already built." The "jewel in Tokyo's campaign is a space-age makeover" of the National Stadium, the main venue for the 1964 Games. The Tokyo government estimates that the Games "would increase demand" by 1.22T yen ($13M) in tourism, sales of Olympic goods and household spending. With private sector investments included, "the total impact is likely to hit" 3T yen ($32M) nationwide and include the creation of 150,000 jobs. Though Tokyo lost its previous bid "in part due to low public support," an IOC survey published this week found that some 70% of respondents "want Japan to host the games" (REUTERS, 3/7). XINHUA reported Tokyo "is the first stop for the IOC delegation" before moving on to Madrid on March 18 and Istanbul on March 24. The IOC "will vote on the host city" for the 2020 Games on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires (XINHUA, 3/7).

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: In a separate piece for KYODO, Hueston reported Tokyo "gave reassurances" to the IOC's Evaluation Commission that "its environment is safe to host the 2020 Summer Games." Tokyo gave reassurances that the city "has strong countermeasures in place to handle earthquakes and tsunami at all sports facilities during the Olympics" -- a reference to the '11 disasters that hit eastern Japan. One of Tokyo's themes surrounding the Games is "from devastation to recovery," which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "explained as a reason the city should host the Games at a banquet for IOC members." Tokyo metropolitan government Bureau of Environment Dir General Teruyuki Ono said, "There were some questions about anti-disaster measures and I explained that there would be no problems, and there were no further comments from the IOC" (KYODO, 3/7).

STILL WRESTLING: In Tokyo, Jack Gallagher reported the IOC Evaluation Commission tour of venues included "a visit to Tokyo Big Sight." The "sprawling complex" next to Tokyo Bay would play host to wrestling, fencing and taekwondo if the capital city wins the right to host the games. The commission "was greeted by three-time wrestling gold medalists Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho at the venue." The pair "is hoping the sport will remain in the Olympics" after it was provisionally dropped by the IOC last month. Yoshida said, "I don’t have a vote, but I would at least like to go to the presentation. The only thing I can do is pray that wrestling stays in" (JAPAN TIMES, 3/7).