When I visited Tokyo two years ago, excitement was in the air not just in Japan’s capital city, but the entire country, as preparations were underway to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
I was taken by the cranes that dotted the landscape as approximately 45 new skyscrapers were being built in the city for the Olympics in addition to a new train station and stadium. The National Stadium, which cost approximately $1.4 billion, opened last year and was to be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies.
Marriott’s high-end Edition brand opened two locations in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics in the Toranomon and Ginza areas. The Toranomon property, designed by Ian Schrager, has 200 rooms and the Tokyo Edition Ginza 80 rooms, near the main shopping street in Ginza.
Infrastructure projects included a road being built on the perimeter to bypass central Tokyo, another road being built to better connect central Tokyo to the Tokyo Bay area and its Olympic sites.
Tourism officials were beaming as they explained how tourism would surge as a result of the games.
That was before the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. This morning, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Olympics that were scheduled for July 24 to August 9. The agreement is the Games will be postponed but will be held no later than next summer.
It was also agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan and will still be called Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
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