Yasuhiro Yamashita was re-elected as the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee on Thursday to a third term, but he is voicing unease regarding Sapporo's bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Support for Sapporo's bid has fallen significantly as widespread bribery and bid-rigging scandals related to the Tokyo Olympics have marred the perception of the games among the Japanese populace.

"Under the current circumstances, 2030 will be quite hard," said Yamashita, who will retain his post for two more years.

"The International Olympic Committee highly regards Japan's ability to manage sporting events but attaches great importance to the approval rating of each host candidate."

Yasuhiro Yamashita (L) speaks at a press conference in Tokyo after being re-elected as the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee on June 29, 2023. (Kyodo)

Sapporo was once considered the frontrunner for 2030, but the International Olympic Committee appears to have shifted its focus to other candidates as the scandals have eroded support for another Olympics in Japan so soon, according to sources.

"Trust in the Olympics is declining," the judo open-category gold medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics said. "It's necessary to have a legacy that takes root and makes people think in 10 years' time or 20 years' time, it was good to host the Tokyo Olympics."

Former volleyball player Yuko Mitsuya will remain the JOC vice president.

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