Mixed feelings in Japan following successful Olympic bid

Tokyo, Sep 8 (IANS) Scenes of jubilation were seen around Tokyo Sunday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Buenos Aires voted for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympics. However, there are still some concerns regarding the mega event.

"We were so nervous before the results of the vote announced by IOC president Jacques Rogge, we were holding our breath," said Kenta Nishimura in Tokyo's Shibuya District.

"But when we heard the words 'Tokyo', we all erupted and hugged each other. There were plenty of tears and it was a really emotional moment. I feel bad for Madrid and Istanbul, but this is just what Tokyo needs and we'll do a great job," the 24-year-old systems engineer said following an all-night event at a popular sports bar in Shibuya, reports Xinhua.

With Madrid knocked out in the first-round ballot, Tokyo beat Istanbul in a landslide 60 to 36 votes. Its bid took cues from London, and pledged to deliver a "compact Games" in the heart of the city, with 85 percent of the venues being within 8 km of each other, the Japan Olympic Committee said.

Tokyo also highlighted its efficient transportation infrastructure and also the welcoming nature of the Japanese people, as well as the nation's feverish passion for sport.

Other factors almost certainly worked in Tokyo's favour was particularly Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's passionate presentation assuring the IOC and the wider global community that recent events involving a leaking nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture, 250 km northeast of Tokyo, were under control and would in no way affect the Games.

In order to deliver this final presentation, the 58-year-old Prime Minister even left the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia in advance, absent from the leaders' "family photo".

Some Tokyoites thought obtaining the opportunity is an inspiring success for Japan after the devastating March 11 earthquake more than two years ago.

Miki Koda, a 34-year-old housewife, who alluded to losing family members in the 2011 said: "It's an historic day for Tokyo and Japan. We really needed this good news as a nation and after all the suffering from the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The country really needed to hear some good news."

But for people in the disaster area, feelings are more complicated. Chie Sugawara, who lives in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, told Xinhua that holding Olympic Games has limited impact on her and her family.

"Olympic Games are grand events which can help attract many tourists to Tokyo and generate a lot of economic benefits," she said, "But how can these benefits be reflected in the whole northeast area of Japan and in the reconstruction process? That is my concern."

Her opinion represented the mindset of many people in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst affected areas.

At the same time, some people are afraid that holding Olympic will affect their common lives. Suzuki, a 20-year-old college student in Tokyo, said that more people will flock to Tokyo at that time, which makes him worry about public security.

Updated Date: Sep 09, 2013 01:00 AM

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