Sapporo hosted the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in 2009 (Getty Images)
(ATR) Sapporo has announced a plan to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics Games.
According to a Reuters report, the mayor of Sapporo told a city assembly that local residents, and those in Japan's Hokkaido island, are behind the $3.44 billion bid.
Kyodo News quotes Sapporo's mayor, Fumio Ueda, as saying, "Hosting the Olympic Games will lead Sapporo to a new stage and be a step forward to create the future of Hokkaido.
"An atmosphere to proceed to the dream [of hosting the Olympics] is being nurtured among citizens."
Kyodo News says that last month, the Sapporo city government reported 66.7 percent of residents were either "in favor" or "fairly in favor" of the bid. The Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry also requested the mayor bid for the 2026 Games, Kyodo adds.
Reuters says Kyodo speculates that doubts surrounding Sapporo's bid may stem from "the number of Olympic events Asia are lined up to host in the coming years." These include the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Games. Beijing is also vying against Almaty, Kazakhstan to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Sapporo was the first Japanese city to host the Winter Olympics in 1972.
The Japanese Olympic Committee will decide whether to bid for the Games in 2016. The IOC will announce the host of the 2026 Olympics in 2019.