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Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Thursday he believes the inauguration of a large-scale urban marathon in Tokyo in 2007 will help the Japanese capital’s bid to hold the 2016 Olympics.

Ishihara and Japan Association of Athletics Federations chief Yohei Kono reached a basic agreement to hold the Tokyo Marathon, which, with an estimated 30,000 people expected to take part, will be one of the biggest in Asia.

The Tokyo Marathon will integrate men’s and women’s public races with the Tokyo International Marathon, an annual men’s race featuring elite Japanese and foreign runners.

However top female runners will not take part in the race as the Tokyo International Women’s Marathon will continue to be held every November.

“I think this (race) will boost Tokyo’s bid for the Olympics,” said Ishihara, who announced last month that Tokyo will make a bid to host the Summer Games in 2016 or later.

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