October 25 - Tsunekazu Takeda, the President of the Tokyo bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, said the city's bid for the Games will not be harmed by the resignation of Shintaro Ishihara as the Governor of Tokyo.
Ishihara (pictured above), who has been Governor of Tokyo since 1999, has long been a vocal supporter of bringing the Games to the Japanese capital for the first time since 1964 and after helping the bid for 2016, he has played a key role in ensuring that Government support is behind the 2020 bid.
But the 80-year-old announced today that he will resign from the role with immediate effect in order to form a new right-wing political party.
Despite the move being a blow for the bid team, Takeda, who is also Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said he is confident that Government support will remain fully behind the bid.
"Governor Ishihara has demonstrated strong leadership for Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic aspirations ever since Tokyo's race for the 2016 Games and he has been a fervent supporter of Tokyo's efforts to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well," Takeda explained.
"Tokyo's bid is supported by every different level of the Japanese society, from local and national Governments, to the sport community and across all business sectors.
"We are confident that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will continue providing support for the bid and that Governor Ishihara's resignation will have no impact on our campaign.
"With his enthusiasm remaining with us, Tokyo 2020's bid effort remains focused on providing the best possible stage for athletes.
"Over the next 11 months, we will continue to work closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to win the right to host the 2020 Games."
Tokyo is currently bidding against Istanbul in Turkey and Madrid in Spain for the right to host the 2020 Games.
Following an inspection of the three cities from the IOC Evaluation Commission in March next year, a final decision will be made by the IOC on who hosts the event at their Session in Buenos Aires on September 7.
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