After Madrid had been knocked out of the running in the first round, it was between Istanbul or Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo were announced as winners. Here are 5 reasons why Tokyo will host the Greatest Olympics to date.
1. Transport links
The Japanese previously built a network of elevated expressways throughout Tokyo in preparation for the 1964 Olympics. This means most traffic passes above, rather than through, the city. A large and efficient network of subways and railways further reduces the number of cars at ground level. The result is clean air and a great environment for cyclists, pedestrians and joggers. With 13 subway lines and more than 100 surface routes run by Japan Railways and other private companies, Tokyo’s railway system seems like it was designed to win world records. With Tokyo expected to welcome more than 8 million tourists in 2020 the running of transport links will be key to the success of the Games and already having a well established system in place gives Japan time to make any necessary changes without them needing to start the process from scratch.
2. Previous success
The major advantage that Tokyo has on Istanbul and Madrid is their previous job as host in 1964. Various reports have described those Games as a rousing success, and Tokyo is one of the few cities to keep a majority of the venues from 1964. The strength of this year’s bid is Tokyo’s Heritage Zone, which includes three of the venues used in 1964, including the venue for swimming. The stadium used for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for track and field, will be completely remodeled into a sleek and stylish venue that is likely to be one of the iconic venues of the Games. In addition, since the 1964 games, Asia has also shown that they are capable of hosting majorly successful sporting competitions such as the 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2008 Olympics, held in South Korea/Japan & Beijing respectively.
Hosting the 2020 Olympics could spark positive economic effects of more than $40 billion and create more than 150,000 jobs in Japan. In 1964 Tokyo did not gain many capital benefits from hosting the games and those benefits are likely to be limited this time around also. However the upgrading of Tokyo’s infrastructure leading into the 1964 games had big economic benefits that far outweighed the nations huge $3 billion ($10 billion today) spend on the games, equivalent to the country’s total budget that year. Tokyo enjoys the largest GDP of any city in the world with $4.5 bn (USD) funds for the Games and full financial government support.
Tokyo is the world’s most forward-thinking city – in business and fashion as well as innovation and technology : a city that helps to shape how the entire world lives. The Olympic Stadium will use geothermal energy and will be cooled using recycled rainwater. Equipped with a sliding roof, the Tokyo National Olympic Stadium has a flexible design that will ensure that the building will not be obsolete when the international sporting event comes to a close and the stadium should be ready in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Japan’s national sense of civic unity and very low crime rates make it one of the world’s safest nations. This, along with a strong Games security plan, would ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Games are a safe and secure celebration. The culture and traditions of Japan are unique, and have inspired countless art forms and practices around the world. At the same time, Tokyo is a city like no other, from ancient shrines and parks to the excitement of “electric-city” downtown, with traditional practices and respect sitting harmoniously with innovation and high technology.
If you want to read more into Tokyo’s plans you can view their Candidate Bid File below
What do you think? Would you have chosen Madrid or Istanbul instead?