Kawamura: Government will fully support 2016 Olympics bid

Kyodo News

The Japanese government is putting its full financial backing behind Tokyo’s bid to secure the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Top government spokesman Takeo Kawamura said Saturday in a meeting on the third day of inspections by an evaluation team of the International Olympic Committee that the country is prepared to pull out the stops and stressed the fact that Tokyo has already secured a special ¥400 billion budget for the Summer Games.

Under the themes of politics and economics, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who heads a federation to promote the Olympic bid and others such as education minister Ryu Shionoya, explained to IOC members a Diet resolution that has been passed to support Tokyo.

Despite the global economic downturn, Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said that revenue from corporate sponsors for the next four years starting in 2009 has already reached 75 percent of the amount in the previous four-year period.

On Friday, the JOC said that six companies, including automobile giant Toyota Motor Corp., have agreed to join its new “JOC Gold Partnership Program.”

The corporations, which also include Asahi Breweries Ltd. and mobile phone operator NTT Docomo Inc., will pay a combined total of 600 million yen over four years for the first-class corporate sponsorship of sporting events connected with the Olympic movement.

On the final day of inspections Sunday, six themes will be discussed, including security, accommodations and transportation and followed by a press conference to wrap up the visit by IOC evaluation team chairwoman Nawal El Moutawakel.