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Tokyo governor apologizes for comments about 2020 rivals

Apr 30, 2013, 11:35 AM EDT

418123DE-24C3-4F57-B210-3665C93EC73E_w640_r1_s_cx0_cy2_cw0 Reuters

Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose, who also heads the city’s 2020 Olympic Bid Committee apologized for “inappropriate” comments made about the other two potential host cities – Madrid and Istanbul – and about disputes between Islamic countries.

“I want to keep campaigning strictly in accordance with the IOC rules that one should not criticize other cities,” he said, after acknowledging that he wasn’t misquoted during his interview with the New York Times and won’t seek a correction.

Over the weekend, Naoki Inose lauded his own city’s experience, preparation, and previously constructed venues for the potential Games while also condemning his 2020 rivals by asking, “Where will be the best place to be? Well, compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities.”

He also casually mentioned the fighting in Islamic countries, which he says was “unfair and disheartening” and did not comply with official IOC rules or the spirit of the values of the Olympic Movement.

“From now on, I will campaign along these proper guidelines with respect to other cities’ bids so that such incidents don’t happen anymore.”