POSTED: February 1st 2009

Prime Minister adds his backing

Ichiro Kono: happy with government support / Tokyo 2016
Ichiro Kono: happy with government support / Tokyo 2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has formally pledged his support for the Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid in a major policy speech to the lower house of parliament.

The speech underlined the government’s commitment despite the global economic downturn and enhanced the domestic groundswell of support across every level of Japanese society - from elite athletes to private enterprise to government.

Dr Ichiro Kono, the bid chairman and ceo, appreciated the timing of the statement. He said: “We’re extremely grateful for the ardent support of our Prime Minister on behalf of the citizens of Japan. It’s further proof that Japanese society is solidly in favour of our bid and we also know that the Japanese business community is enthusiastically behind Tokyo 2016.

"The passionate support of the general public continues to intensify day by day.”

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government recently announced the allocation of an additional $1.1bn to bring its ring-fenced contingency fund for Games preparation, including construction and maintenance of city-owned venues and infrastructure, to $4.4bn.

Simultaneously, hundreds of Japanese youngsters participated in the capital in a Move Up Tokyo event at Midtown Hall, overseen by Governor Shintaro and featuring bid ambassador and former marathon runner Yuko Arimori, pop stars Mitsuhiro Hidaka and Misako Uno, screenwriter Kundo Koyama and influential bloggers Masaki Ishitani and Yoshimi Asada.

Keywords · Japan · Prime Minister · Taro Aso · Tokyo · Olympic Games 2016

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