By Duncan Mackay in London 

Japanese fans_at_London_2012August 17 - Tokyo's bid team for 2020 have arrived back home from London 2012 determined to bring the Olympics and Paralympics back to the Japanese capital for the first time since 1964, claiming that their enthusiasm is shared by the public there.

Japan finished 11th overall in the final medals table with a total of 38 medals, their best ever performance, which was fitting with the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) celebrating the centenary of its first appearance in the Games, at Stockholm in 1912.

"The London Games exceeded our expectations," said Masato Mizuno, the chief executive of Tokyo 2020. 

"London 2012 and the people of London were extremely hospitable and accommodating.

"From the Opening Ceremony on 27 July to the Closing Ceremony on 12 August, this magnificent celebration of sport truly inspired us and made us even more enthusiastic about bringing the Games to Tokyo."

The success of the Japanese team, who won seven gold medals, including Ryōta Murata, whose victory in the men's middleweight divison made him the first boxer from that country to win a boxing gold medal since Tokyo 1964, led to big television audiences. 

Ryta Murata_in_final_of_London_2012_August_11_2012Ryōta Murata (in blue) beat Brazil's Esquiva Falcão Florentino in the final of the middleweight division at London 2012 to become Japan's first Olympic boxing champion since Tokyo 1964

An audience of more than 30 million tuned in to watch the Japanese women's team lose their football final against the United States at Wembley Stadium, even though the match was broadcast in the early hours of the morning in Asia. 

"Fan support for the Games in London was very impressive, and I was also delighted to hear about the immense support back home in Japan," said Mizuno. 

"We now will cultivate the Olympic Spirit to further leverage support for our bid.

"The Japanese athletes demonstrated how the Games can unite and inspire a nation.

"We will do everything possible to bring the world's greatest sporting event to the heart of Tokyo, one of the world's most forward-thinking cities."

Japan Olympic_team_return_home_from_London_2012Japan's gold medal-winning wrestler Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu leads a group of Olympic athletes through Narita International Airport upon their return from London 2012

At a welcome ceremony upon the team's arrival back in Tokyo, JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda paid tribute to their performances.

"You impressed not just the Japanese people, but the rest of the world as well," Takeda said.

"You unified the Japanese people."

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