Fukuoka joins race for 2016 Games
Fukuoka recently hosted the world cross country championships.
FUKUOKA, Japan -- The Japanese port of Fukuoka formally announced on Tuesday its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The southern provincial city believes the era of big cities hosting the Games is over, but faces competition from the capital Toyko to go forward as Japanese bid.
"We regard the (2012) London Games as the last of the 20th-century-style Olympics," world-renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, executive producer of the Fukuoka bid, said.
"After the 1936 'Nazi Games', nearly 90 percent of the (Summer) Olympics have been held in capitals or big cities of similar size and used to boost the prestige of the host countries," Isozaki said. "This trend deviates from the true principle of the Olympics."
The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) will choose between Fukuoka and the Tokyo on August 30 as Japan's sole candidate for the 2016 venue, which won't be decided by the International Olympic Committee until mid-2009.
"Fukuoka is a city with everything one-tenth the size of the capital Tokyo," said the 74-year-old post-modern architect, whose works inclde the gymnasium for the 1992 Barcelona Games and the ice-hockey arena for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.
Less than a year after the International Olympic Committee picked London as the 2012 host, several big cities have formally or informally suggested their bids for 2016.
They include Madrid and New York, both of which lost 2012 bids. New York will face challenges from Los Angeles, which reaped huge profits by hosting the 1994 Games, and other US cities.
Other potential candidates include Rio De Janeiro and Asian cities Busan in South Korea, Bangkok and New Delhi.
Fukuoka, a well-developed convention city of 1.5 million population is some 900 kilometers west of Tokyo.
It has already hosted such world-class sporting events as the 1995 Student Games, the 2001 World Swimming Championships as well as the recent World Cross Country championships.
Fukuoka plans to invest some 480 billion yen ($4.2 billion) in Olympic-related infrastructure -- 97 billion yen each from its own coffers and the state government as well as 270 billion yen from the private sector.
Both Fukuoka and Tokyo, which staged Asia's first Olympics in 1964, have promised to place most of their Olympic facilities within a radius of 10 kilometers with such "compactness" being an Olympic trend.
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