BUENOS AIRES, Sept 7: Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics on Saturday, capitalising on its reputation as a “safe pair of hands” and defying concerns about the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Tokyo defeated Istanbul 60-36 in the final round of secret voting on Saturday by the International Olympic Committee. Madrid was eliminated earlier after an initial tie with Istanbul.

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, billed itself as the safe and reliable choice at a time of global political and economic uncertainty. “Tokyo can be trusted to be the safe pair of hands and much more,” bid leader and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda said in the final presentation.

“Our case today is simple. Vote for Tokyo and you vote for guaranteed delivery. Tokyo is the right partner at the right time.”

Tokyo had been on the defensive in the final days of the campaign because of mounting concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. In the final presentation before the vote, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the IOC assurances that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping the games safe.

“Let me assure you the situation is under control,” Abe said. “It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”

Abe gave further assurances when pressed on the issue by Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg. “It poses no problem whatsoever,” Abe said in Japanese, adding that the contamination was limited to a small area and had been “completely blocked”.

Electric Power Company, Fukushima’s operator, has acknowledged that tons of radioactive water has been seeping into the Pacific from the plant for more than two years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns at three of its reactors.

Recent leaks from tanks storing radioactive water used to cool the reactors have added to fears that the amount of contaminated water is getting out of hand.—AP

More From This Section

All parties to be consulted on Taliban issue: minister

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said on Sunday that dialogue would be held only with the factions...

Drones kill 40 Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen

ADEN: Weekend drone strikes in Yemen killed more than 40 suspected Al Qaeda militants, including 30 on Sunday. The...

Abdullah widens lead in Afghan poll

Hundreds of serious fraud allegations are being investigated

Ukraine rebels call for Russian help after deadly gunfight

SLAVYANSK: Pro-Kremlin rebels in east Ukraine appealed on Sunday for help from Russian “peacekeepers” after a...


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page