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Tuesday, 5th March 2013
In Events In Japan,

Japanese firms ready to back Tokyo 2020 Olympics bid

A host of major corporations are ready and prepared to back Tokyo's bid for the summer Olympics in 2020.

The nation last held the Games in 1964 and Toyota chairman Fujio Cho hopes that bringing the event to the capital city in 2020 will provide a similar economic boost to that witnessed in the mid to late 60s.

Economic conditions in recent years have forced many Japanese corporations to forgo investment in sport, but it seems they are now willing to get involved once more.

It is estimated that the 2020 Games' effect on the domestic economy could be worth around $38 billion, thanks to the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in the run up to, during and after the event.

Mr Cho was one of a number of businessmen who met a team from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week, who will evaluate Tokyo's bid for the Olympics.

He said after the event: "If Tokyo gets the 2020 Olympics, I believe businesses will become sponsors and support them.

"The Japanese economy soared very quickly after 1964. I don't think it will do quite the same again but I have no doubt it will provide a boost."

He noted that the greater interest in related products and a boost to tourism that comes from hosting the event is much-needed for Japan.

The Japanese government has made assurances to the IOC that it would cover any cost over-runs in organising the Olympics, with the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, recently guaranteeing the financial backing of the government for Tokyo's bid.

It is competing against Turkish city Istanbul and Madrid in Spain to host the Games after the Rio de Janiero 2016 event. The IOC team is set to visit Tokyo's rivals in the coming weeks.

They will then draw up a technical report on each of the bids for the 101 IOC members who will vote to choose the 2020 host on September 7th.

Written by Graham McPherson

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Chirac backs Tokyo's Olympics bid (14th October 2008)