Japan’s strong national support for Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games impressed the International Olympic Committee evaluation commission, IOC vice president Craig Reedie said Thursday as it wrapped up its four-day inspection.

“We have been witnessing strong government support which the bid enjoys,” Mr. Reedie told a news conference on the fourth and final day of the commission’s inspection. That was “highlighted by the presence of Prime Minister ([Shinzo) Abe and many government ministers throughout the visit.” “We also benefited from the contributions from a wide range of Japanese business community,” said Mr. Reedie, who chairs the 14-member expert panel.

He also added the commission was also invited to meet Crown Prince Naruhito.

“Once again, we were witnessing strong national support,” he added, referring to the invitation.

The latest IOC survey showed 70 per cent of Tokyo residents polled want the Japanese capital to host the world’s largest sporting event in 2020, up from 47 per cent in May.

The commission was given presentations on the 14 themes the IOC proposed.

“We have been hugely impressed by the quality of the bid’s presentations,” Mr. Reedie stressed.

Some of the presentations were given by Japan’s business community and “very senior ranking members of the Japanese government, starting with the prime minister,” he said.

On Thursday, the panel was given presentations on environment, security, health and medical services.

Tokyo is the final stop for the IOC panel before it travels to Madrid from March 18-21, followed by a trip to Istanbul from March 24-27.

The host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics will be selected on September 7 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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