Tokyo Bid for ’20 Games Confirmed as Catalyst for Recovery

April 11, 2011

The re-elected Governor of Tokyo, Shitaro Ishihara has confirmed that the city will bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the hope that it will be a “big catalyst” for Japan’s recovery from last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese capital had already signalled an intent to launch a bid for the Games but there were fears that they would have to abandon their campaign after the disaster last month which has ravaged its Pacific coast and left tens of thousands of people dead.

However, Ishihara stated: “Although they [the 2020 Games] are nine years from now, we can start raising our hand now.

“If we will work hard with hopes for nine years ahead, it will be a big catalyst for our country’s reconstruction and revival.”

Tokyo bid for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, but was always the outsider as the Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, the first time that a South American city will have staged the event.

Ishihara is now hoping that the Olympic Movement will get behind their latest bid as a way of helping rebuild the country, adding: “There seems to be some tendency within the International Olympic Committee to help Japan, at any rate nine years later when it is expected to have been revived.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge is due visit Tokyo in July for the Japanese Olympic Committee’s (JOC) centenary celebrations.