December 24 - The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has asked the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to cover part of a ¥100 million (£700,000) cost deficit in its failed bid to host the 2016 Games.

The Metropolitan government has asked the JOC to bear the personnel costs of Olympics officials who were seconded to the Tokyo 2016 Olympic Games Bid Committee.

It has also urged the JOC to bear part of the cost of lobbying IOC members during the bidding process in which Tokyo beat Chicago but finished behind the winners Rio and Madrid at the vote in Copenhagen on October 2.

A senior JOC official said it is studying the Metropolitan Government's request.

The bid committee spent ¥7.5 billion (£5.1 million), ¥2.5 billion (£1.7 million) of which came from Metro Tokyo funds, with the remainder guaranteed by varying sources such as private corporations.

The Metropolitan Government had planned to use ¥10 billion (£6.8 million) of its own funds to cover the cost of the bid, and to raise ¥5 billion (£3.4 million) in donations from the private sector.

However, due to the effects of the recession among other causes, actual private contributions have totaled only around ¥4.3 billion (£2.9 million), which is predicted to result the shortfall by the end of fiscal year.

The Metropolitan Government is currently studying how to make up for a budget shortfall.

A senior official said the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is unlikely to agree to have taxpayers cover all of the deficit.

The Assembly is controlled by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was critical of Governor Shintaro Ishihara's push to host the Games.

The row could effect Tokyo's ability to launch a bid for the 2020 Olympics.

Following Tokyo's defeat, Hiroshima and Nagasaki expressed their desire later in October to jointly bid for the Games.

The announcement by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and his Nagasaki counterpart, Tomihisa Taue, came after Akiba expressed hope at an international peace meeting in Mexico City to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020.

The bid by the two cities would be an appropriate means of celebrating a nuclear-free world, the Mayors said.

But both the IOC and JOC are reluctant to allow a joint bid.

They would prefer a bid from Tokyo, which Ishihara is keen to promote.

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