Tokyo Olympic bid provides certainty in age of uncertainty - Takeda


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be in a win-win situation were they to elect Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, their bid president Tsunekazu Takeda told AFP.

The 65-year-old, who is in Moscow for the world athletics championships on his final sweep ahead of the vote in Buenos Aires on Sept 7, said that Tokyo provided certainty in what he termed "these uncertain times".

By that he highlighted how Tokyo could assure the security of athletes and visitors and also the financing of the Games.

Tokyo, which hosted the Games in 1964, is vying with Istanbul, whose fifth bid is by far its strongest, and Madrid, which is bidding for the third successive time having finished third and second for the 2012 and 2016 Games respectively.

"In these uncertain times Tokyo will offer certainty," said Takeda. "Tokyo 2020 will be a safe pair of hands and much more. Tokyo is the safest city in the world and provided financial stability.

"But we are not just about that because we also offer to host a huge party in the city center and aside from that there is our innovative side which is one of creativity and excellent technology. We guarantee to deliver a great Games for new generations."

Takeda, who has bittersweet memories of Moscow as he would have competed in the showjumping at the 1980 Olympics but for Japan joining the boycott over the then Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, said their essential message remained the same to the IOC.

However, he admitted also that hosting the Games would provide a morale boost to Japan just two years after the massive quake and tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 people and badly damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Takeda, who is the great-grandson of Emperor Meiji who ruled Japan from 1867-1912, paid several visits to the devastated areas, taking sports stars with him in a bid to revive morale.

Sydney Olympic women's marathon champion Naoko Takahashi donated some of the shoes she collects and usually sends to poverty-stricken Kenyan children.

Instead, she gave them to the young people who lost everything in Tohoku (the region affected by the tsunami).

The Kenyan children, the 41-year-old said, far from being distraught at missing out on the shoes, reciprocated by releasing a song on YouTube as a gesture to their contemporaries affected by the disaster.

Takeda said that Takahashi's gesture, along with other efforts by athletes, had had a highly positive impact.

"This was very effective, especially with the young people," he said.

"It was a very powerful image. When we arrived the young people had tears in their eyes, and when we left after they had played sport with the athletes they were smiling.....and sweating!"

Takeda, who was elected an IOC member last year prior to the London Olympics, also dismissed fears the radioactive groundwater that has leaked outside the nuclear plant of Fukushima, confirming long-held suspicions of ocean contamination from the shattered reactors, would pose problems for the bid.

"At the moment the Japanese Government are making great efforts to control the situation and consulting experts," he said. "The plant is 250km away from Tokyo, so there is no concerns over radiation."

© (C) 2013. AFP

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Why won't these guys just shut up? I mean seriously? So now so far that games being given to Tokyo will: a) help all the people of Tohoku, b) help with the reconstruction of Tohoku... by... errrr.... building in Tokyo, c) be the world's first non-doping games, d) 'give certainty' in 'uncertain times', whatever that means, e) cure cancer -- oh wait, that one hasn't been pitched yet.

Seriously, pitch the games, show off your tech, prove how it will be beneficial to not only the nation but the people and visitors attending, and do it with pizzazz. All these ridiculous promises are too much.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yeah, its certain to cost the tax payer a shed-load of money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

play that sympathy card...thats what jpn is good at

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It will be great news when Tokyo gets the nod for the 2020 summer Games next month. The Dom is now chilling, and I'll be raising a glass to toast Tokyo on the day it gets selected to host what will be a great Olympics.


-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I'm for it. Might further push Japan to ban smoking indoors (restaurants, izakaya, etc.). Just don't mention the major FUBAR up north aways.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@davestrousers: Don't you know that when you are asked to talk to media, you get paid?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The obvious lack of full disclosure on the extent of radioactive contamination should be a major concern for the OIC. The game are not just about the athletes at the Tokyo venues but the visitors who usually use the games a platform for tourism outside the major cities. How can they expect foreigners to come to Japan if they don't know if there is a health hazard due to the failure of TEPCO and the JG to provide full disclosure. We've heard everything for 10 years to 40 years before full containment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i would much rather have the games in Tokyo than in Istanbul where I would have to deal with rioters

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“In these uncertain times Tokyo will offer certainty,” said Takeda. “Tokyo 2020 will be a safe pair of hands and much more. Tokyo is the safest city in the world and provided financial stability.

He really has the balls to say this in light of the recent exposure of MORE TEPCO cover ups??!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo offers certainty in the age of uncertainty .... Oh please, give us a Takeda can guarantee that there will not for example be another earthquake between now and the Olympics ? " The big one " everyone is waiting for? Or another major stuff up by Tepco and the N- village? The only " certainty " there is ,is the that the games will make a ton of money for the amakudari run construction companies that are well connected to the Tokyo govt..Oh...and it's also " certain" that the people of Tohoku will be used until the end as an emotional trump card whilst in reality the games will do next to nothing for them. This is nothing but a " cynical" BS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo is a candidate city. Not Tohoku area. Fukushima is not in Tokyo. TEPCO is not inviting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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