• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is exploring the possibility of attending the closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August as a way of promoting Japan’s hosting of the Tokyo Olympics four years later, sources said Thursday.

The prime minister plans to skip the Olympics opening ceremony on Aug. 5 as it coincides with his attendance at the annual memorial event in Hiroshima on Aug. 6 to mark the anniversary of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the city, the sources said.

If Abe can go to Rio de Janeiro for the closing ceremony, which is scheduled for Aug. 21, he will, together with Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe, take the occasion to show their resolve to make the Tokyo Olympics successful, they said.

If he is unable to attend because of diplomatic engagements in Kenya and elsewhere at around the same time, he may consider attending an alternative event to be held in the Brazilian city to promote the Tokyo Olympics, the sources said.

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