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Japan: Tokyo Wins Bid to Host 2020 Olympics
Source: japantimes.co.jp
Source Date: Sunday, September 08, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Japan
Created: Sep 10, 2013

Tokyo was chosen as the “safe pair of hands” to host the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday, beating Istanbul and Madrid at the International Olympic Committee’s general session.

The Japanese capital will be the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice, having also hosted the 1964 Games. Japan will be hosting its fourth Olympics. Sapporo and Nagano hosted the 1972 and 1998 Winter Games, respectively.

In a secret ballot by IOC members, Tokyo beat Istanbul 60-36 in the final round to decide the host city after Madrid was eliminated in the first round. While it did not garner the majority of votes in the first round, Tokyo had 42 votes, the most among the three cities.

Istanbul defeated Madrid 49-45 in a tiebreak vote after receiving 26 each.

Tokyo overcame fears of the dangers of radiation-contaminated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, crippled by the March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster, about 250 km northeast of the city to win the vote. It also pressed home the message of using the Olympics as a force in its reconstruction efforts from the disaster.

“We are confident our Japanese friends will be able to provide excellent Games. They are the safe pair of hands they describe,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “They will provide secure Games, well organized with the welfare of the athletes in mind. I’m quite sure Tokyo 2020 will put the athletes at the center of the Games.”

Members of the Japanese delegation hugged and wept with joy as Rogge announced Tokyo as the winner of the race to host the sporting extravaganza.

“I thought that Tokyo could win,” said Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose said. “But you face the reality of having to make sure you can come across the finish in first. It’s exhilarating, just like being an Olympic athlete. We could win because of our teamwork, the prime minister, the athletes, and everyone coming together.”

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