Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ishihara off to lobby for Olympics

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara left Thursday for Berlin, the venue for the world athletics championships that start Saturday, to promote Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

In a related move, the Tokyo 2016 bid committee held an event at Tokyo International Forum to draw public attention, 50 days before the International Olympic Committee picks the host city on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen. Popular badminton player Reiko Shiota and former swimmer Junichi Miyashita, who both competed in the Beijing Olympics, attended the event.

"In Berlin, there will be a lot of chances (to appeal to IOC members), so I feel a strong need to be there. Lobbying is the key," Ishihara said before his departure from Narita airport.

The outspoken governor plans to meet with IOC officials during his visit through Aug. 24.

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