It’s Tokyo 2016’s Turn

Now that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has left Chicago to descend on Tokyo next week, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports the Tokyo metropolitan government and the invitation committee for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are now in the final stages of preparing for the IOC Evaluation Commission’s four-day visit to the city that begins next Thursday.

A metropolitan government official reportedly said, “in terms of winning the Olympic bid, we’ve absolutely no margin for error during the evaluation commission’s visit”.

Saturday, officials from the bid committee and a U.S. consultancy firm met at a tent erected on the planned site of the main stadium to rehearse how to guide the evaluation commission members to stadiums and other venues.

About 30 minutes later they all got on a bus bound for the next site. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun one bid committee member said, “we’re behind schedule”.

The newspaper reports most of the stadiums and venues are located within a radius of about eight kilometres around the main stadium. About 70 per cent of the athletes will be able to reach their respective stadiums within 10 minutes of leaving the Olympic Village, said the bid committee.

The committee also said it chose a route that will ensure the commission team moves smoothly between the stadiums, and the time required for each journey has been calculated to the last second.

But there could be a glitch. An official of the metropolitan government said, “traffic jams always occur on Fridays. We also need to consider the possibility of unforeseen jams due to traffic accidents”.

The metropolitan government is sending a car to go ahead of the bus carrying the commission, which will search for potential traffic jams, and if there are any problems the bus will immediately take a prepared alternative route.

During the IOC’s visit the metropolitan government is spending about 200 million yen hosting the team and plans to place 50,000 flags depicting the Olympic mark along the IOC’s route.

The metropolitan government wants to show IOC officials Japanese culture. The Imperial Palace and Ryogoku Kokugikan will be among the sites the IOC members will visit.