April 3 - Hiroshima's bid to host the 2020 Olympics has been revived after the city's Municipal Assembly approved a motion to reinstate most of the funding sought having originally voted down the request last week. 

The approval came at a special assembly session convened by Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba to salvage his initiative to stage an Olympics dedicated to global nuclear disarmament.

He had initially sought ¥25.69 million (£1.8 million/$2.7 million), including ¥1 million (£70,000/$110,000) to formulate the basic bid plan, as part of a budget bill for the fiscal year that started last Thursday (April 1), but the funding endorsed by a relatively narrow majority excludes the ¥1 million portion.

Akiba, who invoked his right under the Local Autonomy Act to ask the Assembly to reconsider its decision after its regular session ended on March 26, said that despite the reduced funding he will not seek another vote.

He said: "Our basic ideas have been understood.

"We will try to come up with results that convince everyone by listening to various opinions humbly."

At the outset of the session, the assembly voted down the motion to omit the ¥25.69 million from the city's fiscal 2010 budget bill, which it passed last week.
It then voted on two other motions - one to slash most of the proposed sum, which was rejected, and the one that was endorsed.

But the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) still want reassurances from Akiba that Hiroshima is serious about a potential bid.

The JOC's Olympic cooperation director Yasuhiro Nakamori said: "We will check the details of Hiroshima's bid plan and of course the financial aspect, which is very important if they want to host the Olympics.

"I think we have to know if the mayor is serious about realising this plan or if the reason he is conducting this bid activity is really some political performance.

"We do not want Hiroshima to waste taxpayers' money.

"People are concerned about spending cuts to accommodate the Olympics.

"We want to make sure they are financially sound."

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March 2010:
 Hiroshima budget blow leaves way clear to Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid
January 2010: Nagasaki drops plans to bid for 2020 Olympics
January 2010: Hiroshima and Nagasaki refuse to give up on Olympic dream
December 2009: Japan rejects Hiroshima-Nagasaki 2020 joint Olympic bid
November 2009: Hiroshima and Nagasaki form panel to investigate joint bid for 2020 Olympics