Tokyo 2020 heralds new dawn for Japan

Tokyo 2020 heralds new dawn for Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (third from right) celebrating alongside Tokyo 2020 delegation members after the International Olympic Committee announced that the Japanese capital would be hosting the Olympic Games in 2020.

BUENOS AIRES - Just two years after a devastating tsunami left Japan in mourning, the Land of the Rising Sun woke to a new dawn on Sunday - as host of the 2020 Olympics.

Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), voting at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, chose Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid, sparking jubilation in the Japanese capital.

In a live interview after the announcement, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: "Japan has had 15 years of economic stagnation... and we've lost confidence in ourselves. But I hope this will be a chance for us to regain our confidence."

He appears to have had his wish, as thousands of his countrymen on Sunday welcomed the announcement with unbridled joy.

Many had gathered in public squares - way before the announcement ceremony at 5.20am Tokyo time (4.20am Singapore time) - to catch the historic event live from Argentina.

Public broadcaster NHK even began its programming nearly seven hours before the decision was revealed. It gave those tuning in an insight into the drama unfolding half a world away.

Many had predicted that the decision would come down to Tokyo and Madrid, especially since the two cities had made the most impressive presentations.

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