The Japanese Olympic Committee's president said Monday he will hold talks with Sapporo on the city's bid to host the Winter Olympics, including the option of pushing back the target year from 2030 to 2034.
Yasuhiro Yamashita revealed the plan a day after Katsuhiro Akimoto, who is pushing Sapporo's bid to host the games in 2030, won re-election as the city's mayor after strong competition from two rivals opposing the idea.
The widespread bribery and bid-rigging scandals related to the Tokyo Summer Olympics have seriously damaged the image of the Olympics as a whole.
The Sapporo mayoral election "made it clear that many local residents are concerned and anxious," Yamashita said. "It's hard to go ahead with the original bid plan without gaining people's understanding."
The men's open-weight judo champion at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics added that it is important to come up with transparent plans for the Winter Olympics and carefully explain to local residents before considering the resumption of aggressive promotional efforts.
"We have to do things carefully. Otherwise, we can't move forward," Yamashita said.
During a virtual news conference in late March, International Olympic Committee executive director Christophe Dubi declined to say how many places are now in confidential talks with the IOC about hosting a Winter Games, but said the number has increased from the six previously confirmed.