Sapporo's chances of hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics are fading amid a drop in public support in Japan, sources close to the matter told Kyodo News on Friday.

Sapporo was once considered the frontrunner for 2030, but the International Olympic Committee appears to have shifted its focus to other candidates as widespread bribery and bid-rigging scandals related to the Tokyo Games have eroded support for another Olympics in the country, according to the sources.

There are also growing calls inside Japan for Sapporo's Olympic bid to be pushed back to 2034 or later.

File photo shows Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto speaking at a press conference in Sapporo, northern Japan, on April 12, 2023. (Kyodo)

The 2002 Winter Olympic host Salt Lake City is seen as the favorite for the 2034 games, however, making Japan's bid to host its third Winter Games after Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998 less certain.

An IOC official said Sapporo has to solve all of its issues.

This past February, Sweden said it will consider bidding for the 2030 games after its failed bid for 2026, won by Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Switzerland subsequently threw its hat into the ring without singling out a particular Olympic year.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto, who has been behind the city's 2030 bid, was re-elected last Sunday, but in a sign of anti-Olympic sentiment, two rival candidates who are against hosting performed strongly in the election.

Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, has said he will hold talks with Sapporo on the city's bid plans, including the option of pushing back the target year from 2030 to 2034.