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Volume 10 No. 25
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Tokyo To Revitalize Waterfront With New, Old Venues Ahead Of 2020 Games

Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics "featured a mixture of old and new stadia that should enable the Games to come in cheaper than either London or Beijing," according to Josh Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. A new 80,000-seat athletics stadium "will be the centerpiece, touted by organisers as one of the most advanced in the world." Designed by Zaha Hadid, who was responsible for the aquatics centre at the 2012 London Games, "it will be erected on the site of the Olympic Stadium from 1964, the last time Tokyo was host." The venue, which will feature a retractable roof, "should be finished in time to be used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup." Japan’s proposed budget for the Games is approximately $7.8B, of which $4.4B "is set aside for investment" and $3.4B "for running the Olympics." Those figures compare favorably with the 2008 Beijing Games, which cost about $20B, and the 2012 London Games, which came in at about $13.7B (LONDON TIMES, 9/9).

ECONOMIC BOOST: In Beijing, Bai Tiantian reported quoting projections from a research institute, Kyodo News "predicted that the 2020 Games in Tokyo will likely push up Japan's gross domestic product by 0.5 percent that year with positive economic effects" worth 4.2T yen ($42.3B), "due partly to expected growing demand for new construction and a boost to tourism." The news agency also estimated that 8.5 million tourists "will visit Tokyo during the Games" and the spillover effects will add 2.96T yen ($30B) to the Japanese economy in the eight years from '13 (GLOBAL TIMES, 9/9). XINHUA's Jon Day reported Japan "will reconsider the idea of setting up a new sports agency" with the aim of "further promoting sports on a national level in the run-up to the Games." Japan "is planning to see an amalgamation of training programs for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes, as part of a broader strategy to consolidate the Games." In addition, officials said that Japan "will seek to make training facilities available to both Olympic and Paralympic athletes" (XINHUA, 9/9).

ISTANBUL HITS BACK: REUTERS' Humeyra Pamuk reported Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan said that "the choice of Tokyo instead of Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic Games was unfair and meant the IOC was turning its back on the Muslim world." Erdogan: "Both Tokyo and Madrid have hosted the games before; Istanbul hasn't. It hasn't been fair. In a way, they are cutting ties with the 1.5 billion-people Muslim world" (REUTERS, 9/9).

CHINA'S REACTION GUARDED: KYODO reported China's Foreign Ministry on Monday "stopped short of congratulating Tokyo for winning its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and instead urged Japan to make more efforts to mend bilateral ties frayed over an island dispute." Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei urged Japan to win the trust of the int'l community by adopting "a correct attitude on historical issues" (KYODO, 9/9). REUTERS' Ben Blanchard reported in a statement posted on the ministry's website after the news conference had ended, Hong said that the Chinese Olympic Committee "had in fact expressed its congratulations." It "did not elaborate" (REUTERS, 9/9). KYODO reported the U.S. on Sunday "congratulated Tokyo on the success of its bid." The White House statement said, "On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the city of Tokyo, and our close ally Japan, on its selection as host of the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games" (KYODO, 9/9).