International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Tuesday that strong cooperation among the Japanese Olympic Committee and the country's various levels of government stood Sapporo in good stead as a candidate to host the 2030 Winter Games.
The Hokkaido capital, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, has expressed interest in holding the 2030 games and faces rival bids from Salt Lake City and Vancouver, which previously hosted in 2002 and 2010, respectively.
The Spanish Olympic Committee last month scrapped a hosting bid for Pyrenees-Barcelona.
In an interview with Kyodo News at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Bach said the high level of coordination between stakeholders in Japan was integral to successfully hosting the games.
"What I can see is that there is a very good cooperation between the different levels of authorities and government on the one hand ... and also there is a good cooperation with the Japanese Olympic Committee on the other hand," Bach said. "And this kind of cooperation and support is one of the essentials for every intention to host Olympic Games."
While there are indications Salt Lake City may defer its bid to 2034, Bach said he did not want a simultaneous announcement of 2030 and 2034 hosts, as happened when Paris and Los Angeles were named respective hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games.
The 68-year-old German, whose term as IOC head ends in 2025, said a double allocation would bind the committee's new leadership to a long-term course of action that may not be best suited to changing international circumstances.
"I think that even in a situation where you could have, on the mere technical side, good reasons to do it, that for reasons of good governance, it would not be the right thing to do," Bach said.