All Japan is in rapture right now over the announcement that Tokyo has been selected to host the 2020 Olympics. While Madrid and Istanbul put up a great fight, the strong presentation by Tokyo coupled with the improving economic position of Japan and large number of facilities already in place enabled Tokyo to carry the day. While Prime Minister Abe won points with his speech about Japan wanting to “repay its debt to the world in full” for all the help the country received after the deadly earthquakes and tsunamis of March 11, 2011, a lot of the credit for the win went to Takigawa Christel, a half-French, half-Japanese TV announcer who was able to pitch the benefits of holding the Olympics in Tokyo to the IOC in French, which absolutely turned Japanese fans to jelly. The announcement was made a 5:20 am, Japan time, and many dedicated fans stayed up all night to be the first to hear the news. The selection of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics is more than just a big win for Japan, it’s the fulfillment of a destiny for otaku-dom. Fans of the classic anime Akira will remember that the film is set a few months before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the final battle takes place in the newly constructed Olympic stadium.
Congratulations to Tokyo and Japan!