By James Crook

171478282June 25 - Tokyo are in confident mood following a "very strong" report from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission, who delivered their dossier on the three candidate cities  to host the 2020 Games earlier today. 

The Evaluation Commission, led by Britain's IOC vice-president Sir Craig Reedie, delivered a 110-page report on the three candidate cities which highlighted many strengths in the bid from the Japanese capital, particularly the financial guarantees in place and the notion of a "city centre celebration", served by Tokyo's existing world-leading transport system.

"The Games vision is to create a unique celebration in the centre of the city that would help reinforce the Olympic values and demonstrate the benefits of sport to a new generation." states the report.

"As a modern, dynamic city that sets global trends and, at the same time, has a strong respect for its history and culture Tokyo seeks to deliver well-organised and safe Games that would unite world-class innovation with traditional values under the motto of 'Discover Tomorrow'."

tokoyTokyo was identified as a "modern, dynamic city that sets global trends" by the IOC Evaluation Commission

Following the publication of the report, Tokyo 2020 President Tsunekazu Takeda said: "I am extremely pleased with the report, which reflects the very positive and productive week we shared with the IOC team.

"We thank the members of the Evaluation Commission for visiting Tokyo and recognising so many positive aspects of the city that will allow us to deliver a superb Games.

"We are proud that the report confirms our Bid's very strong technical excellence, which offers certainty in uncertain times for sport.

"There can be no doubt that we will deliver and offer the IOC a strong partnership."

Tokyo 2020 have often referred to themselves as a "safe pair of hands", and this message is one echoed in the report by the Evaluation Commission, especially in economical terms.

The report goes on to confirm that the $4.5 billion (£2.9 billion/€3.4 billion) already set aside by the Tokyo Government "exceeds the proposed amount of Government funded capital expenditures associated with the Games and its presence significantly reduces the risks normally inherent in the delivery of Games infrastructure by Government."

The report also highlights the fact that "no capital investment is required for transportation, airports, accommodation, electrical infrastructure or security in order to host the Games," and adds, "the Commission is confident that the Japanese economy would be able to support the necessary infrastructure development needed for the delivery of the Games."

169689543Tokyo's iconic Skytree was illuminated in support of the bid, but there have been concerns over backing from citizens

However, Tokyo lags behind its competitors in terms of public support, with 70 per cent from the city and 67 per cent of the nation in favour of hosting the Games according to the IOC public opinion polls.

Madrid received 76 per cent support from the city and 81 per cent from the rest of the nation, whilst Istanbul has the highest overall public support, with 83 per cent from the city and 76 from the rest of the country.

The IOC report says that if the Japanese capital is awarded the rights to host the 2020 Games, that: "it would be important for communications efforts to commence immediately in order to develop the vision and ensure that the whole country could share in the excitement of the Games."

However, Tokyo 2020 have claimed that their most-recent figures show a higher percentage of support in the city than that of the IOC opinion poll, and have maintained that there is a great sense of anticipation for the 2020 Games both in the city and the nation.

"There is very strong public support for our bid," a spokesperson for Tokyo 2020 told insidethegames.

"People in Tokyo and across Japan are hugely excited about the prospect of our city hosting the Games and their enthusiasm is growing even more day-by-day.

"The official IOC poll figure has risen dramatically compared to the results of the survey announced in the IOC Working Group Report published in May 2012, while the Bid Committee's latest figures in March 2013 show that 77 per cent of Tokyo residents support the Bid; 10 million Tokyo 2020 supporters in the capital.

150507650Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of Tokyo to welcome home their athletes, such as fencing silver medallist Yuki Ota (pictured), from the London 2012 Games

"The undoubted passion for sport in Japan is referenced in the IOC Evaluation Commission's report.

"This was most apparent during the "welcome home" parade for London 2012 athletes, when the city centre of Tokyo saw a half-million spectators turn out in the middle of the workweek to cheer our nation's heroes."

The only other potential sticking point in an otherwise glowing report for Tokyo could be the challenges involved in the re-generation of venues used the last time the city hosted the Games in 1964.

"The Commission considers that three existing landmark venues from the 1964 Games in the Heritage Zone [city centre] that Tokyo proposes for judo, table tennis and boxing would present operational challenges due to the limited space available around the venues," states the report. 

With under three months to go until the decision on which city will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is made at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires on September 7, Tokyo 2020 have no intention of resting on their laurels following their strong evaluation report, and with rivals Madrid and Istanbul also receiving mainly large praise from the Evaluation Commission, the race is looking too close to call at this stage, though Tokyo have long been installed as the British bookmakers' favourite to host the Games.

"We are so happy but we cannot feel complacent," Tokyo 2020 vice-President and chief executive Masato Mizuno told a press conference following the delivery of the report.

"We will brush up and improve our game plan.

"There are no major findings, overall we have been evaluated very highly.

"That being the case, we believe we can go ahead with what we have started.

"We are very confident."

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