Japan announces Tokyo's bid for 2020 Olympics

Japan announces Tokyo's bid for 2020 Olympics

The Japanese Olympic Committee declared Saturday that Tokyo will bid for the 2020 Olympics after losing to Rio de Janeiro in the race to host the 2016 Summer Games.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to officially announce that we will bid to host the 2020 Olympics," JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda said during a reception to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the JOC, the Kyodo News agency reported.

The JOC hopes to bring the Summer Games to back to Tokyo after 56 years. In 1964, the Tokyo Olympic Games was a sign of recovery for the nation's defeat in World War II.

Takeda said the committee hoped the 2020 Olympics would hold a similar place for north-eastern Japan, struck by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left about 15,500 dead and more than 5,000 missing, DPA reported.

The announcement was made when International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was in Tokyo to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the JOC.

"Thank you for this wonderful day," Rogge said. "Today, we had excellent news about the plans for the candidature of the 2020 Games. The IOC is extremely happy to receive this candidature, and wishes Tokyo good luck."

Tokyo campaigned for the 2016 Olympics with little public support, losing in the second round of voting won by Rio de Janeiro in 2009.

Tokyo's announcement had been expected, but some Japanese were concerned that last week's victory of the Pyeongchang bid for the 2018 Winter Games had reduced the Japanese capital's chance of winning a bid for the 2020 Olympics as the two countries are so close and the event would be only two years apart.

On Thursday, Rogge told a news conference, "That's absolutely not a problem."

"There is a perception that there is an automatic rotation of continents. This is not the case," he said. "You had the Albertville Winter Games (in France) in 1992 followed two years later by Lillehammer, Norway, Winter Games."

Rogge added more examples and stressed, "So there is no rule on that. We go for quality, we do not go for continents."

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara was quoted by Kyodo as saying, "People are saying this and that about Korea's impact, but you just have to go out there and do it.

"There's no room for whining. As long as we're going into this, we've got to win - even if it means getting blood on our hands."

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