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Tuesday, 10th September 2013
In General Japan News,

Abe promises that 'Japan is back'

Tokyo's victory for the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games is proof that Japan is back on track after suffering through years of economic deflation and a tsunami and earthquake that devastated the country in 2011.

This is according to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, whose aggressive policies have been aimed at attracting overseas business and regaining Japan's position as a leading global economy.

Upon news of the International Olympic Committee's decision, Abe was one of the first to take to the spotlight and call attention to the economic benefits the Games will bring.

"[Tokyo 2020] will … be a golden opportunity for Japan to show the world how it has recovered from the Great East Japan Earthquake," he told a special cabinet meeting, adding that the host country will be eyeing a haul of at least 30 gold medals - almost double its previous best.

"Japan must take it upon itself to help the top athletes from around the world perform their best," the prime minister added.

Political commentators have remarked that his sentiment echoes his most recent political catchphrase: "Japan is back".

A special Olympic agency will be set up within the government which will be tasked with ensuring smooth delivery of Tokyo 2020, local media agencies reported earlier today (September 10th).

It has been speculated that education minister Hakubun Shimomura will serve as the minister in charge of the committee.

A representative confirmed that preparations are already underway for Tokyo 2020, saying: "We have made a budget request for 1.5 billion yen for next fiscal year for projects to train top athletes aged between 16 and 20."

The capital's pitch beat those of Madrid and Istanbul, as announced across the globe this weekend. Tokyoites reportedly celebrated with enthusiasm as the news came in, with few people from the city voicing negative feelings about the sports extravaganza.

Written by Andy Mackay

Related news stories:
Japan's ruling coalition takes victory in upper house election (11th July 2016)
New Cabinet sworn in as Abe pledges to end economic slump (27th December 2012)