Tokyo considering large international marathon


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday it hopes to hold a large-scale international marathon in fiscal 2005 that would integrate three such events annually held in the capital.

The metro government will request several media organizations that have sponsored the Tokyo International Marathon, Tokyo International Women’s Marathon and Tokyo City Road Race to integrate them into a new race, officials said.

The new race, which the metro government expects will draw at least 30,000 runners, would be the biggest marathon event in Asia, they said.

“I have for a long time wanted to hold an attractive race in Tokyo that can draw worldwide attention and compare with marathons held in other major cities in the world,” Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara told a news conference Friday.

The marathon, like those held in big cities overseas, would have a major economic effect on the local economy, Ishihara said.

For example, about 600,000 spectators alone come to see the London Marathon, generating an economic windfall of some 7 billion yen.

Meanwhile, about 3 million people visit New York City to watch its event, bringing economic benefits of 16 billion yen, the metro government claimed.