Sapporo Mayor Drops Plan to Visit IOC HQ


Sapporo/Tokyo, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--Katsuhiro Akimoto, mayor of Sapporo, which aims to host the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, has canceled his planned visit this month to the International Olympic Committee's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Japanese city said Monday.

Akimoto is set to travel to Munich in mid-September to mark the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, and the major German city.

During the trip, the mayor was also slated to visit the IOC headquarters and meet with IOC President Thomas Bach to explain Sapporo's plans to host the 2030 Games. Detailed arrangements did go well, however.

Sapporo made the decision to cancel Akimoto's visit to the IOC headquarters after seeing opposition to the city hosting the Games among citizens and others increase in the wake of a bribery scandal over last year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, leading to the arrests of a former Tokyo Games organizing committee executive and some others, according to a source related to the Sapporo municipal government.

"We've decided to cancel (the visit) this time due to scheduling (conflicts)," Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, who was planning to travel with Akimoto, told reporters in Tokyo on Monday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press