- Title: JAPAN: OLYMPIC GAMES: Tokyo starts charm offensive to host the 2020 Olympic Games
- Date: 8th January 2013
- Summary: MORE OF SIGN
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2013 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVACSMGC1P2HXD2X94AXDGA805ZJ
- Story Text: Tokyo launches a charm offensive to host the 2020 Olympic Games and says it is confident of success.
Tokyo unveiled its latest plans on Tuesday (January 8) to host the 2020 summer Olympics.
The city's newly-elected mayor Naoki Inose said public opinion was optimistic after losing a bid to host the 2016 Games to Rio de Janerio.
"The atmosphere now is totally different from four years ago. I won't let my guard down but I can feel that we will ace it if we really want to," said Inose.
Inose also touted the city as more modern and cutting edge than rivals, like Istanbul.
"We can provide a sleek, refined and trouble-free Olympics. This is what developed countries can do very well. All developing countries have to do is to follow the model set by developed nations."
He said the 2020 bid was important to the Japanese people who have endured 15 years of economic deflation and a stalled economy.
"The prime minister just changed with the elections and the Japanese people are pinning their hopes on the economy recovering so I think this has positively affected the bid," Japanese resident Seira Kawakubo said agreeing with the mayor.
Nearly two in three people in Japan now support the bid, according to statistics provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan office.
"Recent events have led people to revisit their Japanese identity and there is a need for the country to band together and strive for something," she added.
Nearly 500,000 people gathered for a parade in Tokyo last August to applaud the triumphant Japanese athletes who surprised and delighted the nation by hauling in a record 38 medals during the Olympic games held in London.
The Tokyo bid consists of building or refurbishing 28 sites within an eight kilometre radius around central Tokyo and nine sites outside the world's largest city by GDP.
The city has stashed away a cool 4.5 billion U.S. dollars to host the games and says it does not need to raise taxes to fund the games.
Thirty-five million people live in the greater Tokyo area, which is home to 242 Michelin star restaurants, the most in the world for a single city.
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