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This didn't happen.

Japan has hosted three Olympic Games now: the awesome 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, for which they rebuilt the entire city from rubble; and after that, the slightly less awesome Winter Games in Nagano and Sapporo. They have a history of spending lots of money on infrastructure to win Olympic bids: consider that the Shinkansen was built for Tokyo and expanded for Nagano, and that New Chitose Airport was built for Sapporo. So when Osaka began lining up its bid for the 2008 Games, it looked like the city had a chance of matching Beijing and Toronto.

Sad to say, Osaka's bid for the 2008 Olympics was one of the most laughable bids for anything ever bidded by anyone in the entire history of the world, and I include the independence movements of both the Conch Republic and the Harvard Lampoon in this statement. Here were the main points behind Osaka's bid:

  1. Osaka is the only bid located on the sea, and the Olympics are best when they're by the sea. /me nods. slowly.
  2. Osaka has a shiny new airport.
  3. Osaka has many stadiums, and is going to create another island solely to accommodate more stadiums.
  4. Osaka has hosted the largest Expo in history.
  5. Osaka has a really big monorail.

When the IOC bigwigs got off the plane at Kansai, still hearing about the monorail, they were treated to one of the most disaster-smitten tours of a Japanese city since Raymond Burr took his little break in Tokyo. They roasted in the summertime heat, got stuck in traffic numerous times, and had to deal with city and prefectural officials with only a tenuous command of Engrish.

To make matters worse, news soon broke that Kansai Airport, built on an artificial island made primarily of garbage, was beginning to leak deadly bacteria into Osaka Bay. The biggest threat this posed to Osaka's bid was nestled in the fact that they were proposing to build the new Sports Island using the same method.

On July 13, 2001, Osaka was kicked out of the voting in the first round, receiving only 6 votes, compared to 15 for Paris, 17 for Istanbul, 20 for Toronto, and 44 for the winner, Beijing. To add embarrassment to embarrassment, Japan's bid director started cheering in delight when it was announced that Osaka had been voted out: he thought Osaka had won. And this was on national TV. So that was how Osaka's bid for the 2008 Olympics died: in pure ignominy. They still got a couple of games during the World Cup, though.

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