Abe plans to attend IOC meeting in Buenos Aires in September

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to attend the International Olympic Committee’s general meeting in Buenos Aires in September and call on IOC members to support Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Games, a government source said Friday.

The five-day IOC meeting will run from Sept. 6 to 10.

Abe plans to cut short his attendance at the Sept. 5-6 summit of the Group of 20 nations to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, the source said.

The prime minister intends to persuade Russia, the host of the G-20 meeting, to agree to his short stay through diplomatic channels, the source said, noting Abe regards Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Games as a national interest.

Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid are competing to host the 2020 Games. The venue will be chosen by some 100 IOC members at the Buenos Aires meeting on Sept. 7.

Tokyo’s bid is seen as superior to those of Istanbul, which has been hit by a wave of antigovernment demonstrations, and Madrid, which has suffered from the current global economic crisis.

Last year, then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda attended only the opening-day session of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. He was absent on the second day due to his busy Diet schedule.

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, lost in the second round of voting at the IOC meeting in 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the venue for the 2016 Games.

Abe’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi (1896-1987), was involved in hosting the 1964 Olympics and Abe says Tokyo’s hosting of the games again is his lifelong dream.