TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid leaders believe they have widespread public support, despite results of polls indicating pulses had yet to begin racing in the Japanese capital.
A survey conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) survey showed just 47 percent of Tokyo's citizens support the city's second successive bid for the Summer Games.
Results of a poll by Tokyo officials showed 65 percent in favour, prompting city governor Shintaro Ishihara to cajole the public to get behind the 2020 bid.
"There are 35 million people living in Greater Tokyo and we've seen mostly great support," Tokyo's bid CEO Masato Mizuno told Reuters on Wednesday.
"You can never relax but we hope to get public support to around 70 to 80 percent by the end of the year."
The IOC poll showed 78 percent supported Madrid's bid with 73 percent backing the Istanbul bid in the three-horse race for the right to stage the Summer Games eight years from now.
Low public support was largely blamed for Tokyo, which hosted Asia's first Olympics in 1964, losing the race to host the 2016 Games.
The city's failed bid earned the highest marks from the IOC's technical evaluation committee but still lost out to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
Tokyo threw its hat into the ring for 2020 despite their plans being thrown into doubt by last year's deadly tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis.
Ishihara called Tokyo's citizen's "spoiled" after learning of the IOC survey results.
"The people of Tokyo don't have to come to the Olympics," the outspoken 79-year-old told reporters. "The rest of Japan will come."
Tokyo's poll showed nationwide support for the capital's Olympic bid also at 65 percent.
The IOC will choose the 2020 host city in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
Editing by John O'Brien