Chicago 2016 Update: Chicago, Tokyo bids eerily similar

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Check out this piece from today’s Chicago Tribune about how the Tokyo 2016 and Chicago 2016 bids are similar.

The big difference, according to reporters Kathy Bergen and Naoko Nishiwaki: Tokyo has a lot further to go in getting locals behind their Olympic bid.

Thing is, Tokyo has a lot more business might. And Japan last hosted the Summer Games in 1964, in Tokyo. (They also hosted the 1998 Nagano and 1972 Sapporo Winter Games.)

But check this out: Tokyo’s Olympic Village would be privately constructed on a landfill island in Tokyo Bay It would be converted to rental apartments and condominiums after the Games.

Also, boasting 47 rail and subway lines with 290 stations, Tokyo’s public transportation system kicks butt. “[Tokyo’s] public transportation puts us to shame,” said Laura Hein, a Japanese history professor at Northwestern, in the story. “They continue to fund public transit, even when they are having economic problems.”

What the Chicago 2016 bid does have going for it, according to the story, is Mayor Richard M. Daley. By contrast, Tokyo’s mayor, Shintaro Ishihara, is considered by many to be racist.

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