BUENOS AIRES: Tokyo was awarded the 2020 summer Games on Saturday, beating Istanbul in a head-to-head vote after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a charismatic plea to the International Olympic Committee.

The statesman's slick narrative was aimed at allaying IOC concerns over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, and would appear to have been pitched perfectly as the Japanese won convincingly by 60 votes to Istanbul's 36.

Tokyo won the right to stage the sporting extravaganza for the second time, having hosted in 1964 when the Games first went to Asia, after two years of intense lobbying and tens of millions of dollars spent.

“I would like to thank everyone in the Olympic movement and we will host wonderful Olympic Games,” a clearly delighted Abe told Reuters.

Bid leader Tsunekazu Takeda said: “It is a great honour that Tokyo has been chosen. “The first thing I will do when I return is to thank all of Japan,” he told Reuters.

For Istanbul it was a fifth unsuccessful bid to host a summer Olympics.

“I think it is an election between a traditional candidature and new grounds, and today it was the traditional candidature that won,” IOC vice-president and presidential candidate Thomas Bach told Reuters.

Madrid, which had pitched a safe, affordable, “sensible” bid had been earlier eliminated first in a secret vote by IOC members on a head to head with Istanbul after the two cities were tied in second place after the initial vote. Madrid's attempt to host 2020 had been a third consecutive bid.

The next summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

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Comments (4)

September 8, 2013 3:07 am

I lived in Japan for 5 years. I love the country and congratulate the Japanese people. For people who might travel to Japan for the Olympic Games that have never been there before, I'm sure they can look forward to a pleasant experience.

September 8, 2013 3:35 am

This was a good opportunity to hold olympics in a Muslim country for the first time ever but alas.

Ali Vaqar Awan
September 9, 2013 2:29 pm

Though wanted Madrid to win as it highly deserves it. As holding Olympic would have given Madrid an economic boost. Any how congrats to Tokyo for winning bid to stage Olympics. Voting process was fair and transparent. Main reason was playing safe and going traditional way. Turkey affected by Syria war while Spain going to through economic crisis. It Tokyo as safest and risk free area. Other reason was Japan strongly presented its case. Had it been choice of looking to new area then Istanbul would have won the bid.

obaid beg
September 9, 2013 6:55 pm

AA-It should have been Turkey-A country rich in History and filled with hospitality. I am sure it will be next time around-2024 -However, many of us would not live that long to see it...

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