August 21, 2012 - 15:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Japanese media said Tuesday, Aug 21, the Olympic fervor on display when 500,000 people packed downtown Tokyo to hail medalists needed to be built on if the city was to win the rights to host the 2020 Games, according to AFP.
Japanese networks continued to air rousing scenes from the previous day's noontime parade, involving 71 of the country's 76 medal holders from the London Olympics.
"May the fervor spread to Tokyo's Olympic bid," read a front-page headline in the conservative daily Sankei Shimbun.
The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) reportedly spent 40 million yen ($500,000) to parade new Olympic medalists for the first-time ever – in open-top cars and buses over a one-kilometer (0.6-mile) stretch of Tokyo's upmarket Ginza area.
At the London Games, Japan won seven gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals and their total medal haul of 38 surpassed their previous high of 37 from Athens 2004.
The number of medalists surpassed the total as members of team events shared the honors with a medal for each. The women's football team, the 2011 World Cup champions, took the silver behind the United States.
The parade was also aimed at leveraging Tokyo's 2020 bid after it lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the campaign for the 2016 Summer Games, with low public support cited as a reason for the defeat.
An International Olympic Committee (IOC) survey published in May showed that the rate of public support was 47 percent for Tokyo, against 73 and 78 percent for 2020 rivals Istanbul and Madrid.
But organizers have expressed hope that they can convert those who had "no opinion" and accounted for 30 percent of the polled.
IOC members will choose the 2020 host city in September next year.
JOC president Tsunekazu Takeda, who also heads the bid committee, said that Japan's feat in London "makes us even more determined to deliver a dynamic celebration in the heart of the world's most forward-thinking city".