Tokyo 2020 Leads Race – IOC Sources

According to members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tokyo is reportedly leading in the race for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The Japan Times reports Tokyo’s emphasis on safety and security appears to be influencing the 2020 race by pitting its squeaky clean image against the turmoil and instability being witnessed in Istanbul and Madrid.

The Malaysia Sun reports that an IOC veteran from Europe said that Tokyo is within reach of winning the bid, while another high-profile member believes that the city will win as long as it does not make any major mistakes before the vote.

The report added that although Tokyo’s lack of a clear concept for the Games has been viewed as a weakness, the issue of security is rapidly gathering team, and Tokyo is gaining support following anti-government protests in Istanbul.

Also Madrid has seen no end to its economic crisis, hurting its chances for the 2020 Games, said the report.

Meanwhile a survey conducted by Mainichi Shimbun on the weekend revealed that 43 per cent of Tokyo residents find that Governor Naoki Inose’s comments regarding Turkey and other Muslim countries may affect the city’s bid, reports the Japan Daily Press. The Tokyo governor was quoted referring to Muslim countries “fighting with each other” in an interview with The New York Times.

In February a poll showed that 72 per cent were in favour of the Olympic bid while 21 per cent were opposed. The recent poll showed that those in favour of Tokyo hosting the 2020 Games is down to 50 per cent, while those opposed to the bid have also decreased to 16 per cent, and 25 per cent of respondents are now undecided.

Sixty-four per cent of those who support the bid see no gravity from what Gov. Inose told The New York Times.

The IOC has released a statement saying that Tokyo will not be penalized because of the governor’s comments.