IOC assured Tokyo is earthquake, nuclear safe

Japanese women clad in maiko costumes welcome members of the IOC in Tokyo on March 6, 2013
Japanese women clad in maiko costumes welcome members of the International Olympic Committee evaluation commission to the Tokyo Big Sight which would host wrestling, fencing and Taekwondo for 2020 Olympic Games on March 6, 2013. Organisers of Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics said the Japanese capital was safe, despite fears of earthquakes and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011.

Organisers of Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics said Thursday the Japanese capital was safe, despite fears of earthquakes and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011.

A 14-member IOC team, evaluating bids by Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul for the event, heard presentations on security, medical services and environment on the final day of a four-day inspection tour.

"I have explained there is no problem at all regarding Tokyo's air, water and food," Teruyuki Ohno, director of environmental affairs at the municipal government, told reporters.

A -sparked tsunami crashed into the Daiichi , some 220 kilometres (136 miles) north of Tokyo, two years ago on Monday, sending reactors into meltdown.

Radiation was released into the environment, forcing tens of thousands of people to abandon their homes in surrounding areas.

But the government says the units are now under control.

In its candidature file sent to the IOC in January, Tokyo said in Tokyo were "well within" international safety standards.

It also underlined how a strict construction code makes buildings in Tokyo highly resistant to big earthquakes and that the Bay of Tokyo is semi-enclosed largely mitigating the impact of any tsunami.

IOC vice president Craig Reedie, head of the fact-finding team, said they had asked the bid committee to report on the risks after the disasters.

"They are the experts and they have done so. We have noted their comments."

(c) 2013 AFP

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