Nagasaki drops bid to host ’20 Olympics with Hiroshima

Kyodo News

NAGASAKI — The city of Nagasaki has given up its bid to cohost the 2020 Summer Olympics with Hiroshima, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said Friday.

But Nagasaki would be willing to offer its full cooperation to Hiroshima if the city tries to host the event alone, the mayor said at a meeting of city assembly members.

The announcement came after Taue and Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba were told by International Olympic Committee Vice President Chiharu Igaya earlier this week that it would be difficult for the cities to jointly host the Olympics even with a concession they have made to try to comply with a stipulation in the Olympic Charter that only one city can host the Olympics.

The two cities had sought to “effectively” cohost the games by having Hiroshima alone apply to be the host city while unofficially calling the event the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Olympics.”

In a statement issued after the announcement, Akiba said, “We would like to accept the decision as a way to open up future developments.”

“We hope to continue to jointly work for the dream of hosting the 2020 Olympics,” he said.

The two cities announced in October after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics was dashed, that they wanted to cohost the 2020 games to mark their goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons by 2020.

But the Japanese Olympic Committee turned down their bid last month, saying it is not in a position to go against the Olympic Charter, while suggesting that it would have a chance for success if either city makes a bid.

On the development, JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda said the Japanese committee is willing to “substantially consider” whether to support Hiroshima’s bid if it formally files to host the event alone, saying such a move would “produce a possibility.”