Photo/IllutrationTokyo Governor Yuriko Koike greets John Coates, the chief of the International Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission, before a session in Tokyo on Nov. 1. (Hiroki Endo)

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike grudgingly accepted the change in Olympic venue for the marathon and race walking events to Sapporo next year, but insisted that the capital would not be footing the bill.

"The IOC has the authority to decide the event venue. While the Tokyo metropolitan government cannot consent to holding the events in Sapporo, we will also not interfere with the IOC decision," she said at a meeting Nov. 1 involving the International Olympic Committee, the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments and the Tokyo Games organizing committee. "I would describe what occurred here as a decision without agreement."

During the session that started at noon, Koike explained that all parties shared the understanding that if the events were moved to Hokkaido, which is relatively cooler than the capital, the Tokyo metropolitan government would not shoulder any related expenses.

She added that Tokyo may be compensated for some expenses incurred thus far in preparation for the events, and that no other events would be moved.

"While there are still some aspects that I am not totally convinced of, I want to move forward to ensure a successful Games," she said.

She also revealed that she received a proposal the same day from IOC President Thomas Bach about holding a different marathon race using the Tokyo course once the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have wound up.

The IOC announced plans Oct. 16 to move the venue for the marathon and race walking events to Sapporo to reduce the health risk posed by the sweltering heat expected in the capital. A large number of competitors dropped out of such events due to the heat during the world athletics championships in Doha, Qatar, from late September until early October.

The IOC's Coordination Commission held a session in Tokyo from Oct. 30, revealing the wide gap between Tokyo's stance and that of the IOC.

John Coates, the commission chief, said he did not want to leave Japan without gaining the understanding of Tokyo residents about the move.

Reiterating her position, Koike said: "As the representative of the metropolitan government, I want the marathon and race walking events to be held in Tokyo. The Olympics will never succeed without mutual trust."

The Olympic Charter gives the IOC executive board wide discretion in deciding on event venues. The contract that the Tokyo metropolitan government signed with the IOC when it was seeking to host the event clearly states that the IOC would make the final decision if an issue could not be resolved within the Coordination Commission.