Tokyo was elected as the host of the Olympic Games by IOC at its general meeting held in Buenos Aaires on Sep.7th. (http://www.olympic.org/ioc)
Tokyo was elected defeating other two candidates of Madrid and Istanbul.At the first vote, Tokyo got 42 votes while the other two both got 26 each, which caused the second and third place decision vote. At that decision vote, Istanbul defeated Madrid by 49 to 45 and in such, the final vote was done to choose Tokyo or Istanbul. And Tokyo won by 60 to 36 in the final. A lot of people watching the live broadcast of the course of the meeting on TV gave exultant cries in many places all over Japan or even overseas, when the IOC president Jacques Rogge declared Tokyo was elected saying, “Tokyo !” producing the document with the name of the successful bidder “TOKYO 2020”.
Tokyo will have hosted Olympic and Paralympic games for the first time in 56 years in coming 2020. Personally, I have a “bond” with the last Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games back in 1964 which was the first Games in Japan. I was born on the closing day of the events and now I live near Komazawa Olympic Park which was one of the venues of the events 49 years ago. In addition, at the presentation time for the candidates, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tokyo Governer Naoki Inose, Christel Takigawa, a popular newscaster, and HRH Princess Takamado, all of whom made passionate and persuasive addresses in either English or French respectively. HRH Princess Takamado’s late husband HRH Prince Takamado made dedications in nature conservation activities where he helped my father.
This election is a proof that the international community now has recognized Japan’s good recovery from the aftermaths of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in the northeast part of the country in 2011. Before the vote was done, PM Abe assured the safety answering a question about the worries of crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima and leakage of contaminated water near there. He said,”Let me assure you the situation is under control,” “It has never done or will do any damage to Tokyo.”, “You should read past the headlines and look at the facts,” “The contaminated water has been contained in an area of the harbour only 0.3 square kilometres big,” “There have been no health problems and nor will there be. I will be taking responsibility for all the programmes with regard to the plant and the leaks.”
Rogge said, “Tokyo is the most reliable bidder in committe members opinions that is expected to deliver safe and elaborately planned Games in order to pass on the sigificance of sports to next generations.”
With those strong supports, expectations, and recognitions of the safety and reliability of Tokyo or Japan by the international community, it is highly expected that foreign visitors to Japan and Tokyo will surely increase even more from now on.