KANSAI Close-up

[Columns]Best choice

When I went to Atlanta last year to observe the 1996 Summer Olympics, I was surprised to have IOC President Juan A. Samaranch ask, 'How is the Olympic Island coming?'He was talking about Maishima.Other IOC Executive Board members I met were also very informed about conditions in Osaka.The final selection of the host city is based on a multitude of criteria centered around the range and quality of facilities available and planned and the candidate city's economic clout and political stability.I was greatly heartened to hear some IOC board members tell me that 'Osaka may well be the best choice.'President Samaranch also made the point that 'the Olympics are for cultural exchange.'When it comes to culture, Osaka is truly well situated: nearby Kyoto and Nara are rich repositories of Japan's historical treasures, while Kobe has a tradition of international cultural exchange.So, from an international viewpoint as well, Osaka is a very attractive Olympic site.""