Tokyo Governor - from sailor to Olympic salesman
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has been many things in his life from an award-winning novelist to a sailor, a sometimes controversial member of the Diet and now the president of the bid to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to the Japanese capital.
The 76-year-old - whose late brother Yujiro was one of Japan's leading screen idols - won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for the best young author for his novel Season of the Sun before he had even graduated from university in 1956.
However, he is adamant where that would lie in his list of achievements should Tokyo beat their three rivals - Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro - in the vote by International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Copenhagen on October 2.
"I will be pleased 1,000 times more," said the father of four sons, two of whom are members of the Japanese House of Representatives.
Ishihara, who represented the Liberal Democratic Party in the Upper House and the House of Representatives for 25 years, admitted having been involved in many elections down the years but this one dealing with the 107 IOC members was on a different level.
"No comment!" laughed Ishihara when posed the question.
"However, honestly I will say this, that the several elections (he was first elected in 1968) I have been through, this is the most difficult."
Ishihara, who wrote among other things a musical version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, was a volunteer when Tokyo first hosted the Games in 1964 but he said these ones should the bid be successful would be vastly different in terms of the priorities.
"The environment is vastly important and the IOC appreciate that," said Ishihara, who has also taken the step of asking Prime Minister and former Olympic marksman Taro Aso to request the Japanese Crown Prince and his wife to attend the IOC vote.
"IOC President (Jacques) Rogge mentioned that the main thing surrounding who wins the Games should be who would provide the best atmosphere for the athletes.
"There are various conditions to that. Athletes are human beings. We can provide the best environmental conditions for them. The Games should be a forum for environmental problems."
The governor, who is responsible for 34 million people and has been in the post since 1999, denied the fact that Tokyo were the only one of the candidates to have already hosted the Games would work against them nor that an Asian city Beijing hosted them as recently as last year.
"London have hosted the Games twice before and they won the right to host them in 2012 so that should not be a factor nor the fact Beijing hosted them in 2008," said Ishihara.
He was at pains to highlight the strong financial status of Tokyo which some IOC members fear is not the case of the favourites Chicago.
"The strength of our financial position is in no doubt," said Ishihara.
"Tokyo is better placed than the other candidates. We have four billion dollars set aside for cumulative purposes and there is no chance of us having to resort to asking the central government for funds.
"No in terms of the environment and finance we excel."
There have been worries raised by some IOC members that the Tokyo bid does themselves no favours in speaking in English when they make their presentations, thereby losing the emotional pull that speaking in their own language would bring.
However, the governor would not be budged.
"We will just have to undergo numerous sessions of practice."