March 5 - Japanese companies would provide a major sponsorship boost if Tokyo are awarded the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Toyota chairman Fujio Cho promised today.
There are more Global 500 companies based in Japan than anywhere else in the world, apart from the United States, and Cho is confident that they will want to get involved in the Games if they come back to the Japnese capital for the first time since 1964.
"Tokyo is the headquarters for large international corporations," said Cho (pictured top), leader of the world's third largest automobile maker, who made a presentation to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Britain's Sir Craig Reedie, here today.
"If Tokyo gets the 2020 Olympics, I believe businesses will become sponsors and support them.
"The Japanese economy soared very quickly after 1964.
"I don't think it will do quite the same again but I have no doubt it will provide a boost.
"Many companies are TOP (The Olympic Programme) sponsors of the IOC and partners of the JOC (Japanese Olympic Committee)."
The presence of Cho, along with several other business leaders, was a belated attempt by Tokyo 2020 to wrestle back the initiative from its main rivals, Istanbul, whose growing economy is cited by Turkish officials as to one of the main reasons why they should be awarded the Games.
Japan's incredible growth that happened after the 1964 Olympics may have slowed in recent years but it remains the third biggest economy in the world, behind only the US and China, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $5.866 trillion (£3.869 trillion/€4.500 trillion) in 2011 compared to Turkey's $1.288 trillion (£849 billion/€988 billion), despite several years of strong growth.
"We know that Istanbul can be quite a tough competitor to us," said Cho, President of the Japanese Sports Association.
"Their economy is going up.
"In the area of marketing, the appealing point for Tokyo is that there are so many global companies here.
"I believe we can expect large sponsorships."
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose also emphasised the economic strength of the bid by reminding the IOC Evaluation Commission that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have already ringfenced a $4.3 billion (£2.8 billion/€3.3 billion) reserve fund for construction of Olympic infrastructure.
The chances of third bidders, Madrid, is being badly affected by Spain's economy crisis, with a quarter of the workforce unemployed.
Tokyo 20200 estimated the 2020 Games' effect on the domestic economy could be worth as much as $38 billion (£25 billion/€29 billion) with the creation of more than 150,000 jobs.
The Japanese Government's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also tried to emphasise the financial muscle that Tokyo 2020 would bring to the Games.
"There will be no problems financially," he told the Commission.
"That we guarantee."
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