The host city of the 1972 Winter Olympics, Sapporo is the fifth largest city by population in Japan. The city was originally bidding for the 2026 Winter Games but pulled out following an earthquake in 2018. Sapporo was the site of the Tokyo 2020 Games’ marathon and race walking, after the IOC unilaterally decided Tokyo temperatures were too hot for the event.

Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Games has been rocked by ongoing revelations about corruption and bribery tied to the Tokyo 2020 Games. In December 2022, the municipal government and Japanese Olympic Committee announced they would indefinitely pause promoting the bid due to the widening scandal. That same month, the IOC announced it would delay selecting a 2030 host until 2024 at the earliest, claiming it needed to examine the impact of climate change on the winter Games. Delaying the decision also allows the IOC and Sapporo bid organizers time to attempt to wait out the scandal.

Despite calls for a public referendum on the bid, in June 2022 Sapporo’s City Assembly rejected an ordinance to hold one. A January 2023 poll found that two thirds of Sapporo residents were against bidding for the Olympics, “with nearly half saying there are more important issues facing the city.”

This page was produced in collaboration with Natsuko Sasaki.

The resistance

No Sapporo 2030 (Japanese name: 札幌五輪対策室) is a collective that was born in spring 2022. The collective organizes a monthly protest march against the Olympics and has organized several public conferences with invited guests from Tokyo, Nagano, and South Korea.

The Citizens’ Party Against the Olympics in Sapporo aims to build a city in which residents have meaningful self-government and participation. It opposes the bid for the Olympics because hosting the Olympics inevitably means compromising these values. The party is calling for a public referendum on Sapporo’s bid to host.

Fushotchichi (フショッチーっち) is “the official PR character of the Sapporo Olympics Countermeasures Office. To promote the non-invitation to the Sapporo Olympics.” Fushotchichi was created by @Fusyocchi.

Critical art & graphics

Sapporo 2030 bid

Key resources

2022 | Kaoru Takano – | We oppose the bid to host the 2030 Hokkaido/Sapporo Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games! [Petition] [Japanese]

2022 | Chris Corday – CBC | IOC struggling to find home for 2030 Winter Olympics — and a Tokyo Games scandal is not helping [Article] [English]

2022 | Reuters | Sapporo, Japan Olympic Committee hit pause on Winter Games bid [Article] [English]

2022 | Neil Shefferd – Inside the Games | Hokkaido Governor admits Tokyo 2020 scandals have damaged Sapporo 2030 Winter Olympics bid [Article] [English]

2022 | Eliott Brennan – Inside the Games | Japanese officials admit concern Tokyo 2020 bribery scandal may impact Sapporo 2030 bid [Article] [English]

2022 | Patrick Burke – Inside the Games | Sapporo City Assembly rejects proposal for referendum on 2030 Winter Olympics bid [Article] [English]