Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics after being picked ahead of Istanbul and Madrid following a vote in Buenos Aires.
The Japanese city has been selected to stage the most prestigious event in sport by a secret ballot among International Olympic Committee IOC members, with the result revealed in the capital of Argentina on Saturday.
Tokyo previously held the Olympic Games in 1964, while Istanbul and Madrid were striving to host the event for the first time.
Tokyo promised a safe and superb 2020 Olympics as it made its bid presentation to over 800 National Olympic Committee representatives during the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday.
Tokyo confirmed a wide range of guarantees, including “hosting an incredible city-center celebration with the Games in the very heart of the one of the world’s most safe and secure cities.”
Tokyo is vying with Madrid and Istanbul for 2020, with the International Olympic Committee to select the host city on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires.
All three bid teams in May made presentations to the SportAccord conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, with each claiming to be the safest and most financially secure.
A Japanese Olympic executive wants his country to host major sporting events to show the world it is recovering from the multiple disasters, but has acknowledged the challenge in justifying a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.
“We need to be hosting major international events to inspire the whole nation, to encourage the youth of Japan to move forward and aspire to be champions and to significantly boost the morale of the whole nation,” Japanese Olympic Association vice president Masato Mizuno said Wednesday.
“International sporting events will also help the international community realize that most of Japan is functioning.”
Several events in Japan, including the world figure skating championships, have been canceled since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, leading to about 25,000 deaths and a lingering nuclear radiation crisis.