Tuesday 16 June 2009

Tokyo banks on robust finances - and nice food

The strength of Tokyo's economic situation compared to the central Japanese government will allow the city successfully stage the 2016 Olympics despite the economic downturn, according to the city's governor.

The race to stage the games has entered a crucial stage as the four bidding cities – Chicago, Rio and Madrid are the other contenders – present their candidatures to a large group of IOC voters tomorrow.

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara revealed that the key messages of their pitch tomorrow will be:
1. The fiscal situation of Tokyo is more stable than the central government;
2. Tokyo is environmentally-friendly – it has committed to capping carbon emissions;
3. Tokyo is the world's safest city – man, woman and child are safe to walk the streets at night;
4. Tokyo can offer great variety of food – it has the most amount of Michelin stars of any city.

Tokyo 2016 chief executive Ichiro Kono defended the plan to build a $1 billion stadium – the single biggest venue spend of the four cities – by saying it will become the 'hub of Asia.'

The IOC said the bid enjoys low public support, but Ishihara said the research was based on a poll which only covered 500 people and recent efforts to promote the bid domestically have been successful.

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