'The safe Games': Judges convinced over Fukishima fallout fears as Tokyo wins the race to host 2020 Olympics

'The situation is under control,' says PM as Japanese bid defeats rival applications from Istanbul and Madrid

Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games after its bid defeated rivals from Istanbul and Madrid. Thousands of people lined Tokyo’s streets at 5am in the morning after the result, was announced by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge in Buenos Aires. The Japanese bid, branded the ‘safe games’, defeated rival applications from Istanbul in Turkey and Spain’s Madrid.

Tokyo, which missed out to Rio last time around, already has a national Olympic stadium and £650 million will be spent on transforming the site into a modern, 80,000-seat venue. Safety was the key tenet of the Japanese bid, with a mantra that Tokyo would be a “safe pair of hands in uncertain times” with a large emphasis on proven transport infrastructure and financial security. Masato Mizuno, chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 bid, said:  ‘We are a reliable and safe pair of hands that the Olympic Movement can count on.”

The Japanese campaign also received support from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who left the G20 summit in order to make a bid directly to the Olympic Committee. It will be the first time the summer games will head to Japan since 1964. Japan was first awarded the Olympic Games in 1940 but they were cancelled due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The country also hosted the winter games in 1972 and 1998.

Tokyo bid organisers have suggested that public support for the Games is as high as 92 per cent. That said, some felt the lasting Fukishima fallout might have been a stumbling block for voting members following reports that 300 tonnes of radioactive water is leaking into the Pacific Ocean every day. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently reclassified the event from 1 to 3 on a seven-point scale. It has now been classed as a ‘serious incident’ and the government is set to spend £320 million on trying to contain the leaks.

Prime Minister Abe said: “Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo. It poses no problem whatsoever. There are no health related problems until now, nor will there be in the future. I make the statement to you in the most emphatic and unequivocal way.”

Crucially, officials managed to convince judges that fears over the Fukishima Nuclear Plant disaster, which unfolded 150 miles away from Tokyo in 2011, could still cause contamination were unwarranted. The Governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, insisted: “The radiation level in Tokyo is no different to London, New York or Paris. It’s absolutely safe - 35 million people live there in very normal conditions.’

This was contrasted with Madrid, eliminated in the first round of voting last night, which promised a low cost spend in a time of economic crisis.

And while the celebrations began in Japan, there was absolute deflation in Istanbul, the runner up candidate city. This was the fifth bid from Turkey to have failed, pipped in a voting run-off. The Turkish bid was based on the idea of a city which already united Europe and Asia geographically that could unite the world through the Olympics not least by becoming the first predominately Muslim country to host the event. It is feared recent protests in the city and a fierce response to them by the authorities may have undermined the bid, however.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test