Olympics

Sapporo to bid for '26 Games

Kyodo

The mayor of Sapporo in Japan’s northernmost island prefecture Hokkaido on Thursday announced the city’s intention to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

The Japanese Olympic Committee will decide in 2016 which Japanese city will bid to host the event before International Olympic Committee members make their selection in 2019.

Sapporo became the first Japanese city to host the Winter Olympics in 1972.

“Hosting the Olympic Games will lead Sapporo to a new stage and be a step forward to create the future of Hokkaido,” Sapporo Mayor Fumio Ueda told a city assembly meeting. “An atmosphere to proceed to the dream (of hosting the Olympics) is being nurtured among citizens.”

In October, the Sapporo city government surveyed 10,000 citizens about the possibility of hosting the Winter Olympics, with 66.7 percent of respondents saying they are “in favor” or “fairly in favor” of the idea. The Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also requested the mayor to bid to host the event.