Japanese Olympic Committee Hopes To Bid for 2020 Olympic Games
GamesBids.com is reporting from the SportAccord Convention in London
(London) -- Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Vice President Masato Mizuno on Wednesday spoke to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive board and urged them to continue to consider Japan as a major international sports destination despite the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Northern Japan earlier this year.
“We need to send a signal to the world that Japan is ready to continue hosting major international sports events,” Masato told a small group of reporters Wednesday at SportAccord in London.
“There is an impression that the whole of Japan has been paralyzed by this earthquake. There is an impression that Tokyo, also, has suffered badly from the earthquake.
“Tokyo is much safer than the people think.”
The major international sports events could include hosting the 2020 Olympic Games – a goal the JOC has set since coming third in the 2016 bid won by Rio de Janeiro.
“We believe the Olympic value, the sports value, so our idea is to host the Olympic Games.”
Masato said that two cities – Tokyo and Hiroshima – have indicated interest in hosting the Games but that the JOC needs to wait until after the April 10 municipal elections to see if the new city governments will move forward on plans.
Masato believes that an Olympic bid will be an important part of the recovery process.
He said that sports events are needed to “inspire the whole nation; to encourage the youth of Japan to move forward and inspire to be champions; and to significantly boost the morale of the whole nation.
“International sports event will also help the international community realize that most of Japan is functioning normally and remains a worldwide sporting destination.”
The application deadline to bid for the 2020 Games is September 1st. PyeongChang, South Korea is bidding for the 2018 Winter Games and should they win the window for an Asian bid might be closed and Japan could decline to move forward on that basis.
Masato said that he expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Executive Board for their support during the tragedy.
“The Japan Olympic Committee has been overwhelmed and humbled by the show of support and the solidarity from the Olympic family. I really thanked President Rogge for his commitment to offer help on behalf of the IOC.”Write or read comments about this article
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