Author STEPHEN WADE, AP Game Writer

TOKYO (AP) – Despite being recognized as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe may have enjoyed his grand moment at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics before reaching the 70,000 mark at the famous Maracana Stadium.

As a video of Abe was shown late at a fundraising event, the Japanese prime minister suddenly appeared on the stage in Rio – clapping loudly – dressed as Super Mario, a well-known Nintendo movie star.

He wore his red hat to the crowd, and there would be no mistake where the Game was going. The inscription on his red cap reads: Tokyo.

Abe died Friday after being shot while talking about a campaign in the western Japanese city of Nara.

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As a precaution, Abe pushed the Tokyo Games from scratch and then helped to recover after being suspended for a year by the COVID-19 plague.

He was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013, sitting in front of a hotel lobby when then IOC President Jacques Rogge opened an envelope to expose Tokyo as the 2020 World Cup winner. flying high, waving a flag emblazoned with the Tokyo petition committee logo.

Abe and Japan ran a well-known Games campaign under the slogan “two hands safe.” This was a time when Sochi, Russia, and Rio de Janeiro were the place of constant criticism for their preparation; Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics. And Rio at the 2016 Summer Games.

Ironically, corruption cases will disrupt Tokyo’s preparations.

And it was Abe who, after speaking at the International Olympic Committee ahead of the vote in Buenos Aires, assured members that the Fukushim nuclear disaster – which occurred in 2011 – “was under control.”

However, that was not the case. That region of northeastern Japan is still struggling to recover from a decade after the disaster. Many in the region feel that the Olympics are preventing recovery, rather than helping to speed up.

Tokyo defeated Istanbul 60-36 at the end of a secret ballot in 2013. Madrid were eliminated after the first agreement with Istanbul in the first round of voting.

And it was Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach who had the final say in March 2020 to stop the Games in the face of the death of COVID-19. Bach said Friday that the Late Games went ahead – thanks to Abe.

“It was only his Vision, determination and reliability that led us to make the decision to suspend the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” Bach said. He also said that without Abe “this Olympic Games would not have taken place.”

He called Abe “a man of vision, determined with unlimited strength to carry out his vision. What I appreciated most was being a good observer. ”

Bach said the Olympic flag at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, would fly by half the staff for three days.

Abe was probably the No. 1 sponsor of the Tokyo Games 2020, which he hopes will be a reminder that Japan is still the dominant force in Asia despite China’s rise. But he stepped down, saying he was in good health, in September 2020 – 10 months for the Delays to open.

“I thought to him, the failure to become prime minister during the Olympics was disappointing,” David Leheny, a political scientist at Waseda University in Japan, told The Associated Press. “He did a lot of work, and I think for him it was a sign for Japan to become a world leader again.”

Abe was replaced by Yoshihide Suga, who oversees the Olympics but left a few weeks later. Suga was accused of tackling the epidemic.

“Considering how important the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were to many people – announcing the exit from Japan after World War II – I think Abe’s bid to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 should be the same,” Leheny added. do not be ashamed to set yourself up for more. “

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