Sapporo's Host City Bid Clouded by Tokyo Games Scandal


Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--The fate of Japanese city Sapporo's bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics has been overshadowed by a bribery scandal related to the Summer Games in Tokyo last year.

Now that the International Olympic Committee's general meeting to pick the 2030 host city was postponed to autumn next year from the initially scheduled May and June, it is important for Sapporo to gain domestic support ahead of next spring when candidate sites are likely to be narrowed down to one.

Sapporo, the prefectural capital of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, has been seen as the front-runner in the host city race that also involves Salt Lake City and Vancouver. Salt Lake City now prefers to host the 2034 Games, while the British Columbia government last week said that it does not support Vancouver's bid.

"I think Sapporo remains the most prospective candidate, but the issue of the Tokyo Games needs to be cleared up," Japanese IOC member Morinari Watanabe said.

He said, "It will be impossible (for Sapporo to host the 2030 Games) unless the fundamental distrust is dispelled, no matter how much promotion is done."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press