POSTED: April 18th 2009

IOC told: Bank on Tokyo for 2016

Ring of confidence: Tunekazu Takeda / Tokyo2016
Ring of confidence: Tunekazu Takeda / Tokyo2016

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

TOKYO: Japanese finance specialists have sought to persuade the International Olympic Committee that Tokyo, if chosen, could guarantee that the 2016 Games “will be the most financially secure Games ever.”

Hidotoshi Maki, deputy director general of Tokyo 2016, had been addressing the evaluation commission during the third of its four-day inquiry visit ahead of the October 2 vote.

Maki claimed that 75pc of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s budget for the next four years had been secured.

He added: “This is not specifically related to the Olympic bid but we think it is important that the IOC is aware of the potential power of all the major corporations represented in Japan. This means that, even in the present economic crisis, we can feel comfortable about the the financial situation.

“This would be the most financially secure Olympic games ever. The IOC can put its trust in us. This is one of Asia’s greatest growth markets with a gross population of 4.1bn people and the Olympic movement is an ideal platform for all the international federations’ marketing efforts.”

Answering critics

Maki used the financial potential of the Olympics to respond to anti-Games protests which had been evident during the evaluation visit.

He said: “We intend to set a stage for heroes which can reach out to disabled and non-disabled alike and offer energy to all our people. I think this message shows that staging the Games in Tokyo will be in the interests of everyone - including those who think we should spend the money on welfare.”

Some 47 of the so-called Fortune 500 companies have bases in Japan, according to Tunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee. He told the evaluators that “they are all strongly supportive of our bid.”

Takeda also promised that, if Tokyo were awarded the Games, it would not renege on any of its promises. He said: “Whatever we have promised we will live up to; whatever we have put into words, that’s what we will do, absolutely.”

Japan claims to be No2 in the world in in the current global gdp league while Tokyo would rank No15 in the world if it were an independent state.

Those statistics prompted Yoshimitsu Kaji, executive director of Tokyo 2016, into underlining the assurance that the bid included Japanese government financial guarantees “against any shortfalls.

Keywords · IOC · evaluation commission · Tokyo · 2016 · Maki · Takeda

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