January 8 - Tokyo 2020 have continued their momentum in their bid to host the Olympics and Paralympics as they announced the appointment to their ranks of Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) as their Supreme Advisor, the day after submitting their Candidature file for the Games.
The Tokyo 2020 bid team were in optimistic mood after they had handed in their master plan to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at their headquarters in Lausanne yesterday as the bookmakers installed the Japanese capital as the odds-on favourites for the Games.
A Tokyo 2020, led by Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda (top left), visited Abe.
Takeda was joined by a high-profile cast that included triple Olympic freestyle wrestling champion Saori Yoshida and Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Wakako Tsuchida.
The appointment of Prime Minister Abe, who was elected last month with a landslide victory, will have increased their optimism as they look to demonstrate that the Tokyo 2020 bid as the full support of the Government.
"It is extremely important for the Government to realise our goal of hosting the 2020 Games and continue in our aspiration to further promote Japan as a sports nation," said the Prime Minister.
"On a more personal level, my grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, led the Tokyo 1964 bid to its first ever Games in Japan."
The 58-year-old from Yamaguchi, who is a former archer from his university days and current chairman of the All Japan Archery Federation, also stated his intention to attend the major dates in the Tokyo 2020 bid calendar.
"I will need to coordinate accordingly, but I am eager to participate in both the IOC Evaluation Commission visit in March and the IOC's election of the host city in September at Buenos Aires," he said.
Abe's high profile support comes as the Japanese Parliament's House of Representatives and the House of Councillors both passed resolutions expressing their full cooperation and support for Tokyo 2020 last December.
The Bid Committee responded by inaugurating the Tokyo 2020 Council, a senior advisory Board consisting of 64 members from Government that now includes the Prime Minister and leading figures from Japan's business and sporting communities.
Tokyo handed in their Candidature file yesterday alongside rivals Istanbul and Madrid.
The handover came as British bookmaker William Hill offered odds of 4/6 that Tokyo will win, with rivals Istanbul 5/2 and Madrid 3/1.
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