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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:27am
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OLYMPICS

Tokyo celebrates an emotional Olympics victory

Olympic Games will be chance to show progress after devastating 2011 disasters, says PM Abe

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 5:49am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 September, 2013, 7:17am

Tokyo celebrated yesterday after winning the right to host the Olympic Games for the second time, overcoming fears about radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant to land the 2020 edition of the world's biggest sporting event.

Thousands of Japanese who stayed up all night to witness the Olympic vote erupted in joy on news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Games, as athletes hailed the "dream" result and TV hosts broke down in tears.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Games would be an opportunity to showcase Japan's resurgence after the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but stressed the city must work to win the world's trust.

"The real Games have only just started for Tokyo," Abe said.

Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires chose the Japanese capital, which previously hosted the Games in 1964, over Istanbul and Madrid.

Tokyo won the right to organise the world's biggest sporting extravanganza despite concerns over the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant 230 kilometres away. The plant's operator has said hundreds of tonnes of radioactive water are pouring into the Pacific Ocean each day.

Abe told delegates that the situation was "under control", adding: "It has never done or will do any damage to Tokyo."

Japan's government said last week it would spend almost US$500 million to try to fix the water crisis.

Hundreds of Japanese athletes and officials gathered downtown for the early morning announcement shouted "Banzai!", jumping up and down and hugging in unusually demonstrative reactions.

The IOC vindicated the Japanese capital for a strategy that saw them highlight their solid finances and strong track record of delivering on promises.

The next summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio in 2016. Preparations for those Games have been plagued by problems, and a decision for Tokyo 2020 is a return to safer waters for the Olympic movement.

"During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics I am determined to show to the world … [a] Japan that accomplishes a remarkable reconstruction from disaster and stands once again at the forefront of the world," Abe said.

"Tokyo is going to be the centre of the world. We really need to respond to expectations … That is our challenge going forward."

Agence France-Presse, Reuters

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18

This article is now closed to comments

andreaswagner
Congratulations Japan!
Marchael
Yeah!! I am so happy for them. Can't wait for 2020 to come :)
secrets
Japan should not be allowed to host the 2020 Olympics until they have admitted, apologised and compensated other Asian countries for their WWII war crimes.
Marchael
Well, at least he is useful in the world. But what about you?? No country need you and in fact you are useless. All you do is comment on other people's comments which tells me a great deal about your intelligence which is close to none.
Marchael
Well well well, at least someone has the knowledge to admit that Japan has issued a war apology. Its just most people don't know how to accept a apology these days???
seanniem
If there's a fire in your kitchen and it has not been extinguished for 2 years, would you host a big party at your house inviting people from all over the world? Abe and Japan apparently would do so for the Olympics.
daily
I think Japan deserves to have another nuke dropped on them before hosting the next Olympics/
impala
Have fun:
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

By the way, you do know that this will already be the fourth time that post-war Japan hosts an Olympics event, right?
babyhenry
You mean apologies that they have been trying to constantly to retract?
joyalsofi
"Tokyo 2020 is a return to safer waters for the Olympic movement." Not if you count the radioactive waste water being dumped into the Pacific Ocean it isn't.
"...overcoming fears about radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant ..." Overcoming whose fears? Not those of anyone paying attention to the disaster that just keeps on getting worse and worse with no one knowing what to do to stop it or even contain it. Watch if now the money doesn't move from Fukushima to Olympic infrastructure.

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