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Posted: Tuesday December 13, 2011 11:33AM ; Updated: Tuesday December 13, 2011 11:33AM

Japan's government fully supports Tokyo's bid to host 2020 Olympics

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TOKYO (AP) -- The national government of Japan officially backed Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics on Tuesday.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave its approval of the bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a means of promoting the development of sport for citizens across the country.

Culture and sports minister Masaharu Nakagawa asked all Cabinet members to help support the bid.

Tokyo is promoting its 2020 bid to be a symbol of Japan's recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing on Japan's northeast coast.

Tokyo, which campaigned for the 2016 Olympics but lost out to Rio de Janeiro, is up against Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid and Rome. The candidate cities will submit their plans for the games to the International Olympic Committee by February next year. The IOC will select the host city in September 2013.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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