2020 Olympics!

by Kensatsukan Gaijin

Congratulations to the city of Tokyo, where the IOC has decided to host the 2020 Olympics!  After losing a bid for the 2016 Olympics, Tokyo narrowly defeated strong proposals from Turkey and Brazil on Saturday after hours of voting and months of deliberations at the IOC.  The victory is another boost for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has already led Japan to the front of the G7 countries in economic growth


Tokyo last hosted the Olympics in 1964, demonstrating its re-entry onto the world stage after the devastation of World War II.  Tokyo had been intended as the site of the 1940 Olympics, but lost the event to Helsinki after Japan invaded China, before the event was finally completely cancelled due to World War II.  The first Tokyo Olympics in 1964 were the first ever in Asia.  Japan performed admirably, taking 16 gold medals that year and coming in fourth overall in the World, behind the Soviet Union, the United States, and Germany.  The event was important to Japan's future, as well.  Just before the Olympics began Japan completed the first trans-Pacific communications cable, allowing modern communications for the first time, rather than short-wave signals.  9 days before the Olympics began, Japan also launched its first "bullet train," the Tokaido Shinkansen.  Japan modernized its highways, train stations, subways, and airports for the event.  


Tokyo already planned to spend $1 billion to upgrade the National Olympic Stadium for the 2019 World Cup.  The fact that Tokyo already has significant and modern facilities in place played a significant role in the IOC's decision.  However, Japan had to overcome several difficulties, however, including concerns about the ongoing crisis at Fukushima's nuclear plant and unfortunate comments by Toyko's controversial governor Naoki Inose about Istanbul's candidacy.