governor Naoki Inose, who heads the city's bid for the 2020
Olympics, apologised Tuesday for "inappropriate" comments he made
about rival candidate Istanbul.
"I said that Islamic countries fight, it was an inappropriate
remark and I want to correct it," Inose told reporters.
"I apologise. My remarks caused misunderstandings among people
from Muslim countries, so I would like to unequivocally
apologise," he added.
His former controversial remarks, made in a recent New York Times
interview, prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to
investigate, while Turkey's sports minister said they were "unfair
and disheartening" and "did not comply with the spirit of the
values of the Olympic Movement", reports Xinhua.
"Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah
and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes,"
Inose, who was elected Tokyo governor last year, said in the
"For the athletes, where will be the best place to be? Well,
compare the two countries where they have yet to build
infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities," he said.
Tokyo is competing with Istanbul and Madrid to hold the Olympics
for a second time after becoming the first Asian city to host the
Games in 1964. Istanbul is bidding for a fifth time after its
previous campaigns were unsuccessful.
The hosts for the 2020 Games will be decided at the next IOC
Session in Argentina in September.