Monday, September 9, 2013

Tokyo 2020

TOKYO, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Scenes of jubilation broke out around Tokyo on Sunday after Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with some worried over the event.

"We were so nervous before the results were announced by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, we were holding our breath," Xinhua news agency quoted 24-year-old Kenta Nishimura as saying in Tokyo's Shibuya District.

"When we heard 'Tokyo', we all erupted and hugged one another other. I feel bad for Madrid and Istanbul, this is just what Tokyo needs and we'll do a great job," the systems engineer said following an all-night event at a popular sports bar in Shibuya.

On Saturday, Tokyo was awarded the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires, beating Istanbul and Madrid.

The Japanese capital beat Istanbul 60-36 in the runoff after Madrid was eliminated in the first round. Istanbul defeated Madrid 49-45 in a tiebreak vote after both cities had finished with 26 votes as Tokyo garnered 42.

Tokyo's bid took cues from London and pledged to deliver a 'compact Games' in the heart of the city with 85 percent of the venues within 8 km of one another, the Japan Olympic Committee said.

Tokyo also highlighted its efficient transportation infrastructure and the welcoming nature of the Japanese people, as well as the nation's feverish passion for sport.

One factor that almost certainly worked in Tokyo's favour was Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's passionate presentation assuring the IOC and wider global community that recent events involving a leaking nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture, 250 km northeast of Tokyo, were "under control and would in no way affect the games."

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 the 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."

But for people in the disaster area, feelings are more complicated.

Chie Sugawara, who lives in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, told Xinhua that holding the Olympic Games has limited impact on her and her family.

"Olympic Games are grand events which can help attract many tourists to Tokyo and generate a lot of economic benefits. But how can these benefits be reflected in the whole northeast area of Japan and in the reconstruction process? That is my concern, " she said.

Her opinion represents the mindset of many people in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst affected areas. Local people did not talk much about Tokyo's success, who instead showed calmness.

At the same time, some people are afraid that holding the Olympic games will affect their regular lives.

Suzuki, a 20-year-old college student in Tokyo, said more people will flock to Tokyo during the games which makes him worried about public security.

Tokyo is the first Asian city to host the Olympics games twice after hosting the Games in 1964.


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