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Abe promises stand-out 2020 Olympics


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Tuesday to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics an exceptional event for the world's top athletes, as his government eyes a haul of 30 golds.

Ministers are preparing to set up an agency to boost resources for Japanese athletes, with an eye on nearly doubling the previous gold total, reports and officials said.

"As the host country, Japan must take it upon itself to help the top athletes from around the world perform their best," Abe told a special cabinet meeting on the Olympic preparations.

The premier pitched for Tokyo's bid when the International Olympic Committee met in Buenos Aires on Saturday and chose the Japanese capital over Madrid and Istanbul as the 2020 Olympic host.

"It (Tokyo 2020) will also be a golden opportunity for Japan to show the world how it has recovered from the Great East Japan Earthquake," he added, referring to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and sparked meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Yomiuri Shimbun and other media reported Tuesday that the projected sports agency will be overseen by a cabinet minister who will also be tasked with ensuring the smooth delivery of Tokyo 2020.

A senior government spokesman said the education and science ministry, charged with sports administration, has requested a budget allocation for the next year to "launch an organization to integrate policies regarding sports".

The government is considering having education minister Hakubun Shimomura also serve as the minister in charge of the Olympics, the Yomiuri and the Sankei newspapers said.

Japan has set a target of 25 to 30 gold medals at the 2020 Games, against its previous best of 16 that it collected when it last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964 and at the 2004 Athens Games, an education ministry official told AFP.

At last year's London Games, Japan won seven golds, finishing 11th in the medals table.

"We have made a budget request for 1.5 billion yen for next fiscal year for projects to train top athletes aged between 16 and 20," the official said.

Home advantage often helps push host nations up the medal table.

At last year's London Olympics, Britain glittered with 29 gold medals, placing it third, up 10 from the 2008 Beijing Games. In 2004, they picked up just nine.

© (C) 2013 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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This is in addition to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology?

They should be cutting down on useless and expensive government activities instead of creating new ones.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

We are tired of Abes's promises! It seems gold medals are much more important than everything else?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I guess we know now where Abe's priorities are: Gold, gold, gold... The initiative for the government to take charge in the Fukushima mess already seems forgotten, only 2 days after the Olympic vote. Wow, that was quick!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Holy mackerel. In the blink of an eye Abe has risen from a politician to a God. He is promising everything all over the place. Before Japan sets its sight on those 30 gold medals in 2020 somebody had better set their sights on controlling those problems up there at the leaky Fukushima nuclear power plant.

And while everybody is busy hugging everyone over the success of winning the Olympics, Abe and his cronies will kick in those shining toothy smiles by ramming the consumption tax hike down their throats.

As for creating a new agency to oversee sports projects in Japan, Abe had better take a better look at the ministers he now has under his wing. A year ago these same ministers sat around with long looks on their faces ... mainly because as an out-of-power party they had a lack of funds at their fingertips. Now nine months after taking over, these same ministers sit around with Abe, all decked out in smiles, as if they were as smug as a bug in a rug. Get rid of these leeches and get somebody trustworthy in there.

For instance, why doesn't Abe get a real expert to act as minister over improving the infrastructure setup throughout the nation ... as building new transportation routes within Tokyo for the Olympics are as important as improving deteriorating roads, tunnels and bridges throughout the country. And why doesn't he get somebody trustworthy to be minister of the Okinawa scene instead of the chatty inexperienced character he now has doing the job?

From the way news stories from Europe and elsewhere overseas are being written, Tokyo would have won the Olympics no matter what because it is considered much safer than Madrid and Istanbul. And the way the word "safer" is being used, I take it to mean safe from terrorists.

I agree that Tokyo ... and all of Japan for that matter ... is safer than those two cities and also many other big cities throughout the world. And because of all this safety here, Tokyo will indeed provide a safe and friendly place to hold the 2020 games.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yeah, it'll be a 'stand out' Olympics alright, especially with headlines like this, TEPCO finds high radiation in Fukushima groundwater

2 ( +3 / -1 )

with an eye on nearly doubling the previous gold total

I already see tears of disappointment.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can't you guys give it a rest?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Abe is just a joke, but the masses have fallen for it

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tokyo 2020 Olympics = A final bonanza for the construction companies, financial kickbacks for Japanese politicians, and a party for elderly Japanese, all at the expense of future generations of Japanese people. Very sad...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Let's compare what Abe has vowed to what he has actually done, shall we?

I thought not. Tomorrow he'll vow to save the world; the problem being all he does is vow, and never acts on his vows.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

30 gold!? wow that setting the bar high, im guess 15-20 tops, 2020 is a far different than 1964, as more countries get better training/resources youll see the medals spread out over a wider field compared to the previous powerhouses Russia USA who 20 years ago dominated the medals. other than wrestling/Judo Japan isnt really dominant in any other events.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Can't you guys give it a rest?

It appears they can't. I'm afraid the "dissapointment" and the hangover of Tokyo being selected could last for few years to come.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

This is why I hate the OGs (and any major "sport" event). Nothing to do with sport. That is nothing else than a matter or patriotism, marketing and money.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

watch how the streets of Tokyo be paved with gold. watch out how over budget they go and how much of the spending is hidden. i wonder at what stage the nuclear reactors in fukushima- will they be taking the rods out around then?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wow, so I made a negative comment with reference to standing out because of the highlights on the Fukushima SNAFU and it was removed. These Olympics will be special. Hopefully, the special point will be showing the world how much they have achieved with Fukushima and the displaced victims of the tsunami and not to show the world how much money they can spend on stadiums. I'm also quite confused by the economic benefits of hosting the Olympics. Japan will spend a small fortune on building stadiums and infrastructure improvements for the games, but I am sure they will spend a lot more than they get back. How is this an economic benefit Abe-San? Is this another 'Abenomices' equation with no conclusive answer?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan will spend a small fortune on building stadiums and infrastructure improvements for the games, but I am sure they will spend a lot more than they get back. How is this an economic benefit Abe-San? Is this another 'Abenomices' equation with no conclusive answer?

The infrastrcuture cost of estimated $ 3 billion is already sitting in the Tokyo Metro Account collecting interest. (about $4 billion total for contingencies allowance). The total ecomic benefit, based on Aichi's world expo figures, is roughtly 3 trillion yen of which 1.6 trillion yen will be of that of Tokyo. Then you got estimates from Daiwa Securities and SMBC ranging economic benfits of 4.2 trillion yen to as high as 150 trillion.

Tokyo is a cash cow anyways. This recent selection just made the Bay development progress much faster.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Hope it isn't anything like the promise to clean up Fukushima.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why Abe promises such things, is he very sure that he still have the chair for the Prime Minister on 2020 Olympics?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How does a sports festival in Tokyo change anything on the ground in Tohoku? This idiot Abe has never had his eyes fully focused on the problem. Visitors to Tokyo will see the same stuff they would have seen on March 10 2011. Tokyo wasn't damaged! They also will not be allowed to go near Fukushima Daiichi due to radiation fears, recovery? Farce.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The initiative for the government to take charge in the Fukushima mess already seems forgotten, only 2 days after the Olympic vote

We are tired of Abes's promises! It seems gold medals are much more important than everything else?

Folks, believe it or not, but two things can happen at the same time in any country, even Japan. And for those slating him whilst saying he should be slaving away at Fukushima, just ask yourselves, do you REALLY want him there trying to fix things himself, or should he be getting the right people together to do it for him? The Olympics are coming, get over it, and get behind the athletes of every nation for whom it is a dream to participate in.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Don't worry folks and apologists, Abe has said Fukushima is under control. So confident is the great one that he has said that the marathon will be held in Fukushima starting at the reactor gates. So there it is!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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