New Tokyo Governor "absolute supporter" of 2020 Olympic bid says Takeda

Sunday, 16 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay in Tokyo

Naoki Inose celebrating being elected as Tokyo GovernorDecember 16 - The election of Naoki Inose (pictured), the prizewinning writer, as Tokyo's new Governor has been backed as being good for the Japanese capital's campaign to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics by Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the bid. 

The 66-year-old journalist and historian had been the acting Governor since November 1 when the controversial Shintaro Ishihara, who had held the role for more than 13 years, stepped down to concentrate on national politics.

Inosa, who has written several critically-acclaimed history books and biographies, had been the Vice-Governor since 2007.

Bringing the Olympics back to Tokyo for the first time since 1964 was among Inose's top three electoral pledges, along with and integration of Tokyo's two subway systems and reforming Japan's power industry.

"Tokyo Metropolitan Governor-elect Naoki Inose is an absolute supporter of Tokyo's efforts to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Takeda, the President of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee.

"He has been an active member of the Tokyo Metropolitan for five years, and has followed the development of our city's bid aspirations.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with the new Governor and are confident that he will support Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic aspirations."

Shintaro Ishihara in front of Tokyo 2020 logoShintaro Ishihara was the driving force behind attempts to bring the Olympics back to Tokyo but successor Naoki Inose has vowed to continue giving his full backng to the 2020 bid

Inose, whom Ishihara had named as his designated political heir, ran as an independent backed by the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and Nippon Ishin no Kai - the Japan Restoration Party - comfortably defeating his rivals in today's poll, which coincided for the first time with a General Election, won by the right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Inose's first international assignment is set to be to travel to Lausanne next month to help deliver Tokyo's Candidature File for 2020 to the International Olympic Committee on January 7.

He is then expected to travel to Britain on January 10 to hold talks with London Mayor Boris Johnson and seek advice from him about their successful hosting of this year's Olympics and Paralympics. 

The LDP's victory, winning more than 300 seats out of 480 in Japan's Lower House, means a return to power for Shinzo Abe.

The result sees Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party will be ousted after just three years in power.

Abe, 58. previously served as Prime Minister for a year between 2006 and 2007.

The win by his LDP Party is widely expected to produce a Government with a hardline stance to tackle the ongoing territorial dispute with China.

Ishihara, meanwhile, the driving force behind bringing the Olympics back to Tokyo, was among the biggest winners in the General Election.

His new political party, Japan Restoration Party - Taiyō no Tō or literally, "Party of the Sun" - are projected to become the third biggest party in the Lower House.

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