The International Olympic Committee voted in Buenos Aires Saturday, and the announcement came at 5:20 a.m. Tokyo time amid ecstatic cheers from a large crowd watching the proceedings on an outdoor video screen.
Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics once before, in 1964.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters, “I am so happy, I am overjoyed,” at a post-announcement press conference.
He added, “I would like to share this joy with the people back home. We’ve received so much support from the people of the IOC and I would also like to express my support to them. And to the people around the world. A safe and secure Olympic Games will be staged by us — I think that was another hope for their support. I would like to pledge that we will be discharging this responsibility”.
Abe also said Tokyo would work toward staging a successful Games to thank the world for its support after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.
“Sport has the power to unite people,” he said. “We experienced that after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, when athletes came to our country and helped us. Japan needs the power of sport, we need hopes and dreams.”
Abe said Tokyo’s 1964 Olympics had left a strong impression on him as a child.
“I was only 10 years old but a lot of kids like me were fascinated. Like many children I dreamed of winning a medal. It was a celebration giving hopes and dreams,” he said. “The joy (of winning the 2020 vote) was even greater than when I won my own election.”
Turkey would have been the first Muslim country to host the Games, had it been selected. But it missed out again in its fifth attempt to land the Games.
Madrid was making its third consecutive bid for the Summer Olympics.
According to reports, Tokyo led after the first round of voting, but its 42 votes was short of a majority. Istanbul and Madrid tied for second with 26 each. A tiebreaker vote of 49-45 in Istanbul’s favor put it in the final runoff with Tokyo.
Tokyo won the deciding vote 60 to 36 over Istanbul.
Brazil will host the 2016 Summer Games, with the Winter Olympics to be held in Russia in 2014 and South Korea in 2018.