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Olympic assessment team arrives in Tokyo
Publication Date : 02-03-2013
Members of the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission arrived in Tokyo on Friday to evaluate the organisational plan compiled by Tokyo's bidding committee for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Over four days beginning Monday, the members--including commission Chairman and IOC Vice President Craig Reedie--will have briefings with the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government, and visit planned competition venues.
This is a critical stage in Tokyo's competition with fellow candidate cities Istanbul and Madrid, as the findings of the commission are key to securing the Games. The commission comprises 15 people, including six IOC members.
With the exception of one member in charge of clerical work, the commission members arrived after 9am at Narita Airport, where they were greeted by people including bidding committee president Tsunekazu Takeda.
Reedie was presented with flowers by Noriko Nakayama, 69, a member of the Nippon Badminton Association's executive board. Nakayama won the gold medal in the women's badminton exhibition at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Reedie was also a badminton player and the two have kept in touch through Christmas cards and other means. They embraced and conversed briefly about each other's families.
They then went to the Tokyo hotel where the commission members will stay. Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose was there to greet them and said in English that the London Games were wonderful.
With advice from an overseas consultant and other specialists, the Tokyo government and the bidding committee have prepared elaborately for the commission members' visit, rehearsing several times.
They will especially stress the compactness of their organisational plan, in which most of the venues are located within an eight-kilometre radius. Olympic medalists and other notable people will make presentations to the commission members, and tablet computers will be used to describe the venues.
As every moment of their stay will be evaluated, a Tokyo government official said, signs and banners extolling Tokyo's bid and welcoming the 2020 Games covered many places seen by the commission members, including the airport and metropolitan expressways.
The commission members will spend most of their time at the hotel compiling materials and attending meetings, except for when they receive presentations from the bidding committee and visit competition venues.
Therefore the food served at the hotel is considered especially important. The bidding committee has carefully chosen menus based on the advice of a food coordinator, and aims to showcase Japanese cuisine. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also plans to hold a dinner party for the commission members.
"As with the great success of the London Games, we'd like to emphasize that we can host the Olympics with the kind of hospitality only an advanced nation can offer," Inose told reporters Friday.
Strong points of Tokyo bid
-- 85 per cent of competition venues will be concentrated within an eight-kilometre radius of the Olympic Village.
-- There will be about 87,000 hotel rooms for visitors within a 10-kilometre radius, with more than 140,000 within a 50-kilometre radius.
-- Spectators can easily move between venues as Tokyo's public transportation system can carry 25.7 million passengers a day.
-- Environmentally friendly technology, such as electric and fuel-cell vehicles, will be introduced.