Olympics: Tokyo Games will create hope: City governor

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre) celebrates alongside Tokyo 2020 delegation members after IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the Japanese capital to be the winner of the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, during the 125th sessio
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre) celebrates alongside Tokyo 2020 delegation members after IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the Japanese capital to be the winner of the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, during the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Buenos Aires, on Sept 7, 2013. Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics will help Japan recover from its devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the city's governor Naoki Inose said on Saturday. -- PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires (AFP) - Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics will help Japan recover from its devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the city's governor Naoki Inose said on Saturday.

"By hosting the 2020 Tokyo Games, we will create hope," he said in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, where members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted for the venue of the Games in seven years time.

"We will offer dreams and hope to future generations and our hosting of the Games will accelerate the recovery of Japan's tsunami-affected area.

"We will promote the Olympic Movement globally in an effort to create a 'peaceful and better world'.

"Tokyo will be an environment where athletes can perform at their best, and we will offer guests from every corner of the world our excellent hospitality."

Tokyo first hosted the world's biggest sporting event in 1964 and enjoyed a crushing victory over Istanbul 60-36 in the IOC vote after Madrid had already been eliminated from the first round of voting.

The Japanese capital's bid, though, was overshadowed by fears over contamination from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, which suffered a meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami that claimed more than 18,000 lives.

Fresh concerns emerged this week about contaminated water leaking into the Pacific Ocean but Inose and then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe successfully quelled fears during their IOC presentations.

Inose vowed that there would now be no deviation from their bid plans.

"Throughout the next seven years, our 'Team Japan' will thoroughly carry out our delivery plan," he added.

"To draw on a sporting analogy: we will continue 'training' in order to make the Tokyo 2020 Games the 'best Games ever'."

Japan's IOC member and Tokyo bid president Tsunekazu Takeda said the result was an enormous achievement after the city's failed effort to secure the 2016 Games, where they finished third.

The two-time showjumping Olympian said the trust placed in them would not be misplaced.

"The Olympic Family has put its faith in our great city to deliver the memorable Games we have promised and we will not let them down," said the 66-year-old.

"The most recent public polls revealed that 92 percent of the Japanese population supported Tokyo's hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, so I am confident that 116 million Japanese people are smiling right now."

Spanish heir to the throne Crown Prince Felipe, who spoke at third candidate city Madrid's presentation, was disappointed but phlegmatic about the end result while Istanbul bid chief Hasan Arat did not speak to waiting reporters.

"We are a little bit depressed with the result but it is very important for us to know that a magnificent job has been done," said the Prince, who was the Spanish flag bearer at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

"This is a competition and we couldn't win. It has been an enormous story to be part of but sadly without a happy ending."