TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will lead the Tokyo 2020 delegation to the IOC host city election in Buenos Aires next month writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Abe confirmed his presence during a formal delegation departure event in Tokyo, attended by more than 800 bid supporters. Rival Istanbul’s delegation will be accompanied similarly by Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Erdogan.

Prime Minister Abe will be on-message in Argentina

The Japanese Premier, who holds the bid status of ‘Tokyo 2020 Supreme Adviser,’  said: “By each and every one of the 800 passionate Tokyo 2020 supporters in this room carrying out their responsibilities, I am hopeful that when the IOC makes their decision on September 7 in Buenos Aires we will witness Tokyo 2020’s victory.

“I will go to Buenos Aires as well.”

IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda Takeda, who is president of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee, welcomed the announcement and described it as “a strong sign of how the whole of Japan is united behind and hugely passionate about our bid.”

Takeda, reiterating the Tokyo ‘message’, added: “The country is tremendously excited about our plans and we feel a great momentum continuing to build for our bid. Tokyo 2020 is the safe pair of hands that can be trusted to deliver superb Games in these uncertain times.

“Our global vision for the benefit of sport and the Olympic Movement is to use Tokyo 2020 to demonstrate the power of sport, capture the imagination of the world’s youngest continent and further spread this inspiration worldwide founded on the Olympic values.”

The delegation

Accompanying Abe in Buenos Aires will be:
Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC Member and President of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC)
Naoki Inose, Tokyo 2020 Chairman and Governor of Tokyo
Masato Mizuno, Tokyo 2020 CEO
Mami Sato, Three-time Long-Jump Paralympian
Chiharu Igaya, IOC Honorary Member
Yuki Ota, Fencing double silver medallist
Yuko Arakida, Montreal 1976 Volleyball Gold medallist and Tokyo 2020 Sport Director
Christel Takigawa, ‘Cool Tokyo’ Ambassador
Yukiko Arai, Tokyo 2020 International Relations Director
Mikako Kotani, Seoul 1988 Games Synchronised Swimming double bronze medallist
Yuko Arimori, Barcelona 1992 Games Women’s Marathon silver medallist and Atlanta 1996 Games bronze medallist
Ryosuke Irie, London 2012 Games both Men’s 200m Backstroke and 4×100 Medley Relay silver medallist and 100m Backstroke bronze medallist
Hitomi Obara, London 2012 Games Women’s 48kg Freestyle Wrestling gold medallist
Rie Tanaka, London 2012 Games Women’s Gymnast