Tokyo celebrated after being awarded the 2020 Olympic Games on Sunday,with a huge roar arising from thousands gathered in a park in the early hours of a grey,humid morning and people embracing on street corners in the city.
Tokyo overcame a worsening crisis at a nuclear plant 230km away as well as a one-time lack of local support to convincingly gain the right to stage the Games for the second time.
Golden streamers fell from the ceiling of a gymnasium in Komazawa Park,built for the 1964 Games when Japan became the first Asian nation to host them,where organisers estimated some 2,000 people were gathered for a night of events including concerts and a midnight fun run before the decision was broadcast on a giant screen shortly after 5:00 a.m.
People screamed,embraced and waved Japanese flags,chanting Tokyo,Tokyo,Tokyo. Some held banners saying Celebration! Im really,really happy,because everyone was saying Madrid would win, said Ryoko,34,who brought her one-year-old son Shunosuke because it would be a good memory for him.
Having the Olympics will give us a chance to show the world how hard weve fought to recover and thank the world for their support, said Tomoko Tanaka,a 33-year-old housewife who had come to Komazawa Park for the night-long countdown events.
Defying public support
Despite the Tokyo bid committees prediction of a three trillion yen ($29.99 billion) economic boost and the creation of 150,000 jobs,public support was tepid for a long time. Many said the country could ill afford the Games while thousands remained in temporary housing along a wide swathe of coastline devastated by the March 2011 tsunami. If they dont use this to revive those places that were hit by the disaster,then it wont mean anything, said bar manager Kenta Matsubara.