Mayor Akiba visits Japanese Olympic Committee to express interest in hosting Olympics

by Yoshiki Shimote and Kohei Okata, Staff Writers

On October 13, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba visited the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, and formally notified them of the intention of the City of Hiroshima, along with the City of Nagasaki, to consider a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Mayor Akiba and Norihiro Kamichika, director of Nagasaki City's Tokyo Office, held talks with JOC executives, including JOC Secretary General Noriyuki Ichihara, for about 15 minutes and explained why they are considering a bid for the Games. They sought JOC's guidance in anticipation of the bid.

After the talks, Mayor Akiba told reporters: "We are facing many challenges. But, with advice from the JOC, we want to widen our circle of cooperation and support and form a conclusion at an early date as to whether we can make the bid."

Hearing a report on the talks, JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda commented, "We would like to welcome a new city hoping to make a bid to stage the Olympics." Then, denoting some wariness, too, he said, "We have not finished analyzing the cause of Tokyo's failure in its bid for the 2016 Olympics. We have not been notified of Tokyo's intention, either. We would like to ponder the next step after these issues are dealt with."

Prior to their visit to the JOC, Mayor Akiba and others visited the prime minister’s residence and informed Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno of their intention to consider a bid for the 2020 Olympics.

(Originally published on October 14, 2009)

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