Last updated: 02:33 PM ET, Tue November 05 2013

Tokyo to Host 2020 Summer Olympics

Destination & Tourism | James Ruggia | September 08, 2013

Tokyo to Host 2020 Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

In choosing Tokyo, the IOC opted for the most secure host city as the other top bidders, Istanbul and Madrid, have been troubled respectively by social unrest and a weak economy. Tokyo was the best-positioned bidder to fulfill an Olympic program, according to the IOC. The Japanese capital has much of the infrastructure for the Olympics in place and $5 billion of a $6 billion program is already dedicated to the Olympics. While Istanbul promised $18 billion, it would have had to build almost all the infrastructure necessary for the Games.

Tokyo was the IOC’s clear choice, even though Japan has been troubled by the continued leaking at its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plant, on Japan’s northeast coast about 150 miles from Tokyo, was at the center of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

This will be the fourth time that Japan will host the Olympics: Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympics, Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, and Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Twenty different cities made inquiries into hosting the 2020 Olympics, but only six made serious bids. In addition to finalists Istanbul and Madrid, other bidders were Rome, which cancelled its bid due to Italy’s current financial challenges, Baku (Azerbaijan) and Doha (Qatar), which were eliminated in the IOC’s first round of cuts.

The IOC announced its selection in Buenos Aires on Saturday, Sept. 7 — the culmination of a long process of voluminous paperwork in the form of proposals and questionnaires for the would-be host cities and the National Olympic Committees of their individual countries.

The IOC Evaluation Commission had to pour over the bids and the questionnaires and visit each candidate city on four-day inspections to compile its report. The fact-finding tours and the questionnaires presented critical choices for the IOC based on athletic venues, transport infrastructure, environmental sensitivities, safety, security, the support of the local population and its politicians, as well as the city’s financial ability to deliver on the promises in its bid. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will host the next Summer Olympics in 2016.

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