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Tuesday, 8th January 2013
In Japan Sports News,

Prime Minister Abe shows support for Tokyo's Olympic bid

As Tokyo submitted its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Asia, along with Madrid and Istanbul, Japan's new Prime Minister has pledged his support for the tender.

Shinzo Abe suggested in a speech to a delegation from the Tokyo bid committee that hosting the games would help to promote sports in the country.

He said: "It is extremely important for the national government... to continue in our aspiration to further promote Japan as a sports nation."

Mr Abe also implied that he had a personal interest in the games as his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi "led the Tokyo 1964 bid to bring the first ever Games to Japan".

He became the Tokyo 2020 Supreme Advisor following his appointment as prime minister to the country and clearly takes his new role seriously.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make its decision on the winning city after a secret ballot takes place in Buenos Aires on September 7th.

Mr Abe said he was "eager to participate in both the IOC Evaluation Commission Visit in March, and the IOC's Election of the Host City in September at Buenos Aires".

The so-called Candidature File, which details Tokyo's bid to host the Games, was handed over to officials by Japanese football legend and former Olympian Homare Sawa along with swimming paraolympian Takayuki Suzuki.

IOC member and President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and Tokyo 2020 Tsunekazu Takeda suggested that the country had learnt from its previous unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Games.

He said: "Based on lessons from our bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have retained the best of that bid plan while adding important new strengths.

"Now that our Candidature File is complete, Tokyo is one step closer to implementing an innovative and inspiring Games plan. The Games in 2020 in Tokyo will offer athletes, spectators and Olympic and Paralympic Family members a true once-in-a-lifetime experience."

In August, the JOC held a parade in Ginza, Tokyo, to honour those who played their part in securing Japan's 38 medals won at the London 2012 Olympics.

Written by Mark Smith

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