December 9, 2013
Abe lauds Tokyo 2020 pick, urges work to win world's trust
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised Tokyo's triumphant bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games as an opportunity to showcase Japan's resurgence after a devastating earthquake, but stressed the city must work to win the world's trust.
Tokyo was awarded the Games earlier on Saturday, beating Istanbul in a head-to-head vote after Abe delivered a charismatic plea to the IOC, promising them Japan's crippled nuclear plant was 'under control'.
"The real Games have only just started for Tokyo," Abe said during a press conference in Buenos Aires, where the IOC meeting was held.
"Let us make ... efforts to win the trust and confidence of people in the world so that the decision to choose Tokyo today will be remembered as the right one," he added, flanked by the Argentine and Japanese flags.
Tokyo won the right to organize the world's biggest sporting extravanganza despite concerns over the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant 230 km (140 miles) from the Japanese capital.
The plant's operator has said hundreds of tonnes of radioactive water are pouring into the Pacific Ocean each day, and radiation levels have spiked.
"I would like to state clearly that there has not been, is not now and will not be any health problems whatsoever," Abe said. "Furthermore, the government has already decided a programme to make sure there is absolutely no problem, and we have already started. I will take responsibility and implement this."
Japan's government said this week it will spend almost half a billion dollars to try to fix the water crisis.