IOC begins 4-day inspection of Tokyo's 2020 plans
TOKYO (AP) - The International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission began a four-day inspection of Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics on Monday.
IOC vice president Craig Reedie is leading the visit.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Governor of Tokyo Naoki Inose and Tokyo 2020 President Tsunekazu Takeda all made remarks during an official reception.
"We are eager to spend the coming days sharing our exciting vision,'' Takeda said. "In presentations in this room, on the site visits, and from all our speakers; including from the very highest levels of government.''
Later this month, the evaluation commission will visit Madrid and Istanbul, the other cities bidding to host the Games. The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot at its session in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7.
Tokyo organizers will provide explanations on 14 themes, such as the location of venues, security, accommodation, and the all-important vision for the Games.
Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, is bidding for a second straight time after finishing third in the IOC vote for the 2016 Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro.
Tokyo organizers want to highlight the city's safety and advanced infrastructure, while emphasizing that 28 out of the 33 competition venues will be within five miles of the Olympic Village.
The previous bid also was hurt by a demonstration against hosting the Olympics during the evaluation commission's visit, and organizers are hoping there will be no repeat this time.
Public support is much higher this time around thanks in part to Japan's strong showing at the London Olympics.