POSTED: August 31st 2009

Political homework seen to pay off for Tokyo 2016 leaders

Tokyo's agreed site set aside for the Olympic Village in 2016 - whichever party is in government / lake images
Tokyo's agreed site set aside for the Olympic Village in 2016 - whichever party is in government / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/TOKYO: The impending change of government in Japan will not disturb the momentum of the Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid.

Media reports suggested the Democractic Party of Japan (DPJ) crushed the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Sunday's election. Latest projections on Monday had the DPJ with 308 seats to the LDP's 119. This resounding victory – before Sunday the LDP had 300 seats to the DPJ's 112 – would will mark only the second time the LPD has been out of power in 54 years.

However, the anticipated smooth state of political transition as far as Tokyo 2016 is concerned has obvious benefit for the bid. For example, it may well be interpreted internationally as a clear signal of the underlying strength of the ‘stage fit for heroes’ project.

Bid leaders are now seeing the benefits of their assiduous preparatory work in securing assurances of all-party support.

Dr Ichiro Kono, chair and ceo of Tokyo 2016, said: “As we laid out clearly in our candidature file, Tokyo 2016 is backed by an enthusiastic cross-party parliamentary group with members from both Japan's newly-elected ruling party, the DPJ, as well as the LDP.

“With (both of) their firm commitment to bring the 2016 Games to the heart of our dynamic capital, Tokyo 2016 has been recognised as the most united team bid with every different level of support in all Japan.

"This will not change.

“Also, the two chambers of our Parliament, both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, have voted in favor of the government guarantees which are in place and ready to be disbursed immediately should we be voted host city.”

He added: “Together with Tokyo 2016's rock-solid financial guarantees, the support of Japan's political leadership including the new ruling party, is clear proof that we offer the safest, securest, most risk-free and most dependable bid – which is especially critical considering today's uncertain environment.”

The IOC decides between rival bids from Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo in Copenhagen on October 2.

Keywords · Tokyo 2016 · Olympic Games · Kono · election

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