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UPDATE 1-Olympics-Japan PM to attend 2016 vote
September 28, 2009 / 5:51 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Olympics-Japan PM to attend 2016 vote

* New Japanese PM ends speculation

* Signal of intent trumped by Obama (Adds Hatoyama quotes, confirmation of Obama presence)

TOKYO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - New Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will visit Copenhagen this week to directly appeal to the Olympic organisers to award Tokyo the 2016 Summer Games.

The Japanese capital, which hosted Asia’s first Olympics in 1964, faces competition from Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. [ID:nLL538269]

“I would like to do everything I can as prime minister as Tokyo strives to win the right to host a Tokyo Olympics,” Hatoyama told reporters.

The Japanese PM’s signal of intent came hours before the White House announced U.S. President Barack Obama would also fly in to support his hometown Chicago for the Oct. 2 vote.

“Tokyo has presented a unique plan to decrease the environmental burden...we think it is a good opportunity to appeal the importance of global environment,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told a news conference.

Tokyo has a solid financial scheme and plans to use solar power generation and environmentally friendly vehicles in the Olympic Village.

Opinion polls conducted this year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) showed relatively low support of 55.5 percent among the city’s residents, though the Tokyo’s bid team has said that support is around 80 percent. [ID:nSP385774]

Obama’s wife, Michelle, is also set to attend IOC meeting in Copenhagen, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish King Juan Carlos may also be going.

Reporting by Yoko Kubota and Alastair Himmer; Editing by John O'Brien and Alison Wildey; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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