BUENOS AIRES, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games as an opportunity to showcase Japan’s rebound from a devastating earthquake, stressing the city must work to win the world’s trust.
Tokyo was awarded the Games earlier on Saturday, beating Istanbul in a head-to-head vote after Abe delivered a charismatic plea to the IOC, promising them Japan’s crippled nuclear plant was ‘under control’.
“This has been such a close race until the last moment,” Abe said during a press conference in Buenos Aires.
“The real games have only just started for Tokyo,” he added.
“Let us make ... efforts to win the trust and confidence of people in the world so that the decision to choose Tokyo today will be remembered as the right one,” he added.
Tokyo won the right to organize the world’s biggest sporting extravanganza despite concerns over the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant 230 km (140 miles) from the Japanese capital.
Japanese unity around the games helped Tokyo clinch the nomination, he added, adding the games will boost Japan’s economy, tourism and infrastructure.
“During the Tokyo 2020 olympics I am determined to show to the world... (a) Japan that accomplishes a remarkable reconstruction from disaster and stands once again at the forefront of the world,” he added.
The next summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The preparations for that Games have been plagued by delays and complications, and a decision for Tokyo 2020 is a return to safer waters for the Olympic movement.
“We really need to respond to expectations... That is our challenge going forward,” Abe said. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Eric Walsh)