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Businesses, govt pledge to support Tokyo's Olympic bid
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
The Japanese government and business groups pledged their full support for Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission on Tuesday.
During a briefing on finances, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga pledged that the government will provide financial assurance for the bid, meaning that the government will cover the deficit if the 2020 Olympics fall into the red.
Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose told the Evaluation Commission that the Tokyo metropolitan government has already prepared a 400 billion yen (US$4.29 billion) fund to host the Olympics.
To showcase support from the business sector, the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee appointed Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Fujio Cho as one of the presenters.
At a press conference after the briefing, Cho said he told the commission that one strength of Tokyo is the existence of many international companies, adding that he believes such companies will back the Olympic Games by becoming sponsors once Tokyo wins the bid. Cho added he will take the initiative in rallying economic circles if Tokyo wins the bid.
Cho, who also serves as president of the Japan Sports Association, said he believes the Olympics will be a catalyst to boost Japan's economy like the 1964 Tokyo Games did.
After the briefings, the evaluation commission members inspected competition venues including the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Nippon Budokan and Ryogoku Kokugikan. The gymnasium is to host table tennis events, the Budokan judo and the Kokugikan boxing.
During the inspection tour, commission members were welcomed by athletes including two London Olympic medalists, weight lifter Hiromi Miyake and table tennis player Ai Fukuhara.
Fukuhara and Koki Niwa, who also participated in the London Games, played table tennis in front of commission members as a demonstration at the metropolitan gymnasium. One member even had a chance to play with Fukuhara.
"I can give a perfect score to our performance," Fukuhara said. "The evaluation commission members seemed quite satisfied when leaving the gym."