Tokyo is one of the five cities vying for the chance to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The number of eligible cities may be whittled down a bit on May 23. The winning bid to host The Games of the XXXII Olympiad wil be announced on September 7, 2013.
Japan will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and a new National Stadium to be constructed in central Tokyo is in the works. The state-of-the-art facility should have a seating capacity of at least 80,000, and will cost an estimated $1.3 billion. The planned completion of the stadium in 2018 gives Tokyo an assist in its ongoing bid for the 2020 Games since it would be needed as the centerpiece stadium in 2020.
At present, Tokyo is jousting with Madrid, Istanbul, Doha, Qatar and Baku, Azerbaijan to impress the International Olympic Committee(IOC) of the merits of each city's respective bids.
Tokyo has touted its efficient public transportation, the city's relative safety and the plan to concentrate nearly all of the necessary venues within a several mile radius of the city's downtown area as among the best reasons for it to be awarded the 2020 Games.
Tokyo has also attempted lately to say that holding the Games eight years from now would help the nation rebuild and recover its confidence following the March 11, 2011 triple disasters that devastated areas of northeastern Japan a considerable distance from Japan's capital city.
Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee(JOC) commented on April 14: "We are highly motivated to leverage the power of sport, with the firm committment of the Tokyo and national governments, to help heal, unite and inspire Japan at a time of national rebuilding."
This seems rather far-fetched to me. The proposed construction and infrastructure improvements in the Tokyo area over an eight-year period would not benefit the people currently suffering in a different part of Japan. Japan has been mired in an economic malaise for two decades, and is struggling to control its massive debt while trying to help the victims of the disasters in 2011 put their lives back together.
If Tokyo gets the 2020 Games, recent history says they will cost the nation much more than originally estimated, and decades of facilities maintenance afterwards will do nothing but add to the debts incurred. Right now, though, Tokyo appears to be the best bet to host the 2020 Games.
Patrick Hattman lived in Japan for more than a decade and continues to closely follow the country's best athletes and team sports.
- Sports & Recreation
- 2020 Summer Olympic Games