• Kyodo News


Legendary home run king Sadaharu Oh pledged Friday to lend his support for Tokyo’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

“I don’t know how much I can contribute, but I’m prepared to help achieve Tokyo’s wish,” the Softbank Hawks chairman said when he attended a signing ceremony with Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara for an annual youth baseball tournament.

The tournament is cohosted by Tokyo and the World Children’s Baseball Foundation chaired by Oh.

“Japanese citizens were encouraged by the World Baseball Classic victory. The people will be even more excited if Tokyo stages the Olympics,” said the former Hawks manager.

The International Olympic Committee’s inspection team is scheduled to conduct a formal on-site visit to Tokyo for four days from April 16 after offering a glowing assessment of Chicago, the first city it observed.

Madrid and Rio de Janeiro have also submitted bids. The IOC will select the host city on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen.

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