Tokyo, May 24 (IANS) The Tokyo city government is excited about the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pick the Japanese capital as one of the three candidate cities for hosting the 2020 summer Olympic Games.
Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul moved to the final stage of the selection process after their bid plans gained the nod from the IOC Executive Board Wednesday evening in Quebec City in Canada.
"Today, we took another new step forward in the 2020 bidding journey. The whole of Japan should be united to achieve our goal to host the 2020 Games," said governor Shintaro Ishihara Thursday.
The three short-listed cities, along with Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, and Doha, capital of Qatar, were the five cities bidding for hosting the 2020 Games. Rome withdrew its bid in February due to Italy's financial crisis.
Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said: "The biggest challenge for us now is to let more Japanese people know that we are bidding for the 2020 Games, and we should communicate with the public about what kind of Olympics they want."
Tokyo is bidding to host an Olympics for the first time since the 1964 edition, the only Summer Games Japan has held so far. The Tokyo 2020 bid committee submitted its application in February, as part of a plan to revitalize Japan following the March 11, 2011 devastation caused by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Tokyo had received surprisingly low public support for its bid compared with the four other cities when they submitted the bid files to the IOC.
Public support for Tokyo's bid was the lowest at 65.2 percent, while Baku had the most public support at 90 percent, followed by Istanbul at 87.1 percent.
The IOC will select a host city in Buenos Aires Sep 7, 2013.