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Tokyo 'learned from Beijing' in preparing 2016 Games bid
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08:49, April 10, 2008

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Tokyo has learned a lot from Beijing about bidding for the Olympics, the head of its bidding team for the 2016 Games said yesterday.

"Making a successful bid requires a national campaign. The Chinese people gathered together as a team during your bidding period," Ichiro Kono, CEO and chairman of the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee, said in Beijing.

"So, I have learned much from you."

Kono was speaking at the ongoing Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) general assembly.

Tokyo is competing against Chicago, Rio de Janerio, Madrid, Prague, Doha and , Azerbaijan's Baku, for the right to host the 2016 Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to announce the shortlist in June, and will name the winning city at its full session in Copenhagen on Oct 2, 2009.

Kono said he is confident in Tokyo's prospects in the race for the world's top sporting event.

"I am 100 percent confident we will be selected as a candidate city," he told China Daily.

The Tokyo bid committee is focused on presenting an "incredibly compact Olympic Games", Kono said.

That means about 95 percent of all venues will be within an 8-km radius of the central stadium in downtown Tokyo, and athletes' travel time between their village and the venues will be less than 20 minutes, he said.

"Athletes can compete, relax, train and enjoy the culture and atmosphere within a compact zone.

"I believe this is unique in the history of the Olympics and will give people the chance to enjoy a truly urban Games," he said.

The sports venues will be located in two overlapping areas - the Tokyo Bay zone and Heritage zone.

The Tokyo Bay zone is built entirely on land reclaimed from the ocean, in the waterfront area of central Tokyo, Kono said.

The Heritage zone has two themed areas: the Palace Cluster, based around the Imperial Palace, and the Yoyogi Cluster, based around the 1964 Olympic stadium.

"The zones reflect the heritage of the 1964 Games and also the future, as the Tokyo Bay zone will provide a new venue for the next generation," Kono said.

The people of Japan will play a key role in the city's bid, he added.

"Japanese people love the Olympics very much. During the last Games in Athens, they topped the rankings for numbers of TV viewers," he said.

Source: China Daily

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