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Japan PM to directly appeal for Tokyo 2016 bid

JAPANESE Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will visit Copenhagen this week to directly appeal to the Olympic organisers to award Tokyo the 2016 Summer Games, as the race to host the games looms as one of the tightest yet.

The Japanese capital, which hosted Asia's first Olympics in 1964, faces competition from Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.

"Tokyo has presented a unique plan to decrease the environmental burden as much as possible and we think it is a good opportunity to appeal the importance of global environment," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told a news conference.

Tokyo has a solid financial scheme and plans to use solar power generation and environmentally friendly vehicles in the Olympic Village.

Opinion polls conducted this year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) showed relatively low support of 55.5 percent among the city's residents, though the Tokyo's bid team has said that support is higher.

US President Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, is set to attend the Oct. 2 IOC meeting in Copenhagen, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish King Juan Carlos may also be going. It is unclear if Obama himself will go.


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