Tokyo governor apologizes for remarks on Istanbul

Updated 30 April 2013

Tokyo governor apologizes for remarks on Istanbul

TOKYO: Tokyo governor Naoki Inose apologized on Tuesday for criticizing Istanbul, a rival candidate for the 2020 Olympics.
Inose, also chairman of the bid committee, was quoted in the New York Times last weekend suggesting Istanbul was less developed and less equipped to host the games than the Japanese capital.
He said the article focused on a small number of comments relating to another bid city and did not reflect his sincere and wider thoughts on the bid campaign.
“I regrettably acknowledge, however, that some of my words might be considered inappropriate and consequently would like to offer my sincere apology,” Inose said.
In the interview conducted in New York, Inose said: “For the athletes, where will be the best place to be? Well, compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities.”
He was also quoted as saying, “Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.”
The governor’s comments appear to break International Olympic Committee rules prohibiting bid cities from commenting on rival candidates. The remarks could lead to a reprimand or warning from the IOC ethics commission.
Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda received an e-mail from the IOC seeking confirmation of the facts of the matter, Kyodo News agency reported on Tuesday.
Takeda insisted Inose was fully aware of the IOC rules.
“Although his sincere thoughts differ from the content of the story published, he acknowledges that his comments related to another bid city and religion may have conflicted with the IOC guidelines and, as a result, offered his profound apologies,” Takeda said in a statement.
Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, is bidding for a second straight time after a failed attempt for the 2016 Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro. Istanbul is bidding for a fifth time for its first games. Also competing for the host rights was Madrid.
The IOC will select the host city in September.


Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

  • Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh
  • The crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered four planes to transport Al-Hilal fans to Japan to support the club in their AFC Champions League final second leg match against the Urawa Red Diamonds.

Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh. The return leg is in Saitama, near Tokyo on Nov. 24.

The Saudi Press Agency said the crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship and to boost the morale of the team to seal the title.

The Saudi General Sport Authority have begun to coordinate with Al-Hilal’s administration to arrange for transporting fans to Japan.