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Tuesday, 13th December 2011
In General Japan News,

Japanese government backs Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid

The Japanese government has given Tokyo its official endorsement in its bid to be the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

If Tokyo were to win its bid, hosting the world's most prestigious sports event would mark a very powerful symbol in the country's recovery from the devastating disaster of March this year.

Both chambers of the Japanese parliament granted their approval for the bid, while the resolutions endorsing the move may now be followed by financial guarantees from the government, AFP reported.

"Hosting the Olympics will have a great significance in promoting international friendship and sports. It will also show our recovery from the Great East Japan earthquake," the culture and sports minister Masaharu Nakagawa was quoted as saying.

"We will seize on every diplomatic opportunity to push the bid forward."

Tokyo was the first ever Asian city to host the summer Olympics in 1964, but after beating the US city of Chicago in a bid to host the 2016 Games, eventually lost out to Rio de Janeiro.

Five further candidate cities are preparing their bids to submit before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the February 25th deadline.

Tokyo will face competition from Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Rome.

Following the government's seal of approval, Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda said: "We are greatly encouraged. It will send a big message to the IOC," the AFP quoted.

According to local media, the government in Japan has said that in light of ongoing budgetary restrictions, the Games ought to be "austere" if Tokyo wins the bid, with the national government only covering expenses that are essential, the AFP said.

Held every four years, the IOC will vote on which city is to hold the 2020 Olympic Games in September 2013, a year after the London 2012 Olympic Games take place.

Written by Mark Smith

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