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Friday, 29th May 2009
In Japan Sports News,

Tokyo Olympic bid to seek support of crown prince

Tokyo's 2016 Olympic bid committee will be looking to enlist members of Japan's imperial royal family to boost the profile of its campaign.

The committee will make a formal request through the government for Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako to present the city's bid to the International Olympic Committee on October 1st, the day before the final decision is made.

According to AFP, Tokyo's call for royal assistance comes in response to the high profile public figures seen supporting the bids of rival cities, including Barack Obama for Chicago and King Juan Carlos for Madrid.

Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo governor and head of the Olympic bid committee, said: "It will be absolutely necessary to solicit kind help from the imperial family for the benefit of the Japanese people and for the history of Japan."

The Tokyo Olympic bid campaign was launched last month by Prime Minister Taro Aso, himself a former Olympian, promising 11 new sporting venues based around green design principles.

By Graham McPherson

Related news stories:
Chirac backs Tokyo's Olympics bid (14th October 2008)