As Tokyo recovers from the huge celebrations and excitement caused by the Japanese capital’s selection as host to the 32nd Olympiad by the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires on Saturday, Japan’s business experts and leaders have begun to speak with optimism at what the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could mean to their steadily improving economy. Japan, home to the world’s third-largest economy, has been plagued with chronic deflation and President Shinzo Abe has pledged to do his best in alleviating the economic rot of the once-buoyant economy.
Hiromasa Yonekura, head of the Japan Business Federation, said in a statement that Tokyo’s selection will definitely “cheer up the Japanese people, and above all, bring courage and hope to those in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.” Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren – Japan’s biggest business lobby – said that the nation’s economic recovery will be positively affected by the Games, “building on the momentum of a redeveloped Tokyo, improved infrastructure and attracting foreign tourists.” Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Tadashi Okamura told reporters that the political and business worlds cooperated with the Japanese people to bring home the bid, having watched the selection vote in Buenos Aires from Tokyo. “With the Olympics adding to Abenomics, the economy is sure to pick up,” Okamura said, alluding to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive economic policies aimed at restoring Japan’s economy.
Even leaders from Japan’s ruling political party expressed hope for Japan’s economy in the selection. Shigeru Ishiba, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), told reporters that the games will “have a great effect” on Japan’s economy, with a ripple effect that will be sure to boost morale. He called Tokyo’s success “an outcome achieved by the whole country and people” and added, “We will strive to be completely prepared to host the summer games in seven years’ time.”
Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the LDP’s coalition partner New Komeito, said the games may prove “a factor” in Japan’s rise away from deflation. With Prime Minister Abe still to decide on an increase to the consumption tax, Yamaguchi said, “Even if a decision is made to raise the tax, we should overcome and utilize it as an important factor in moving out of deflation.” Yamaguchi pledged to do his own part and put efforts into improving urban functionality. “It’s important to show the world how we are recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Yamaguchi said.
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