KANSAI Close-up

Citizens group formed to support Osaka bid for 2008 Olympics

The Osaka Olympics Katteren (the Citizens Group forBringing the Olympic Games 2008 to Osaka) was formed in Osaka City on December 19 to provide grass-roots support for the city's bid to host the 2008 Olympics.Promoters of the group are eight business leaders and academics in Kansai, such as Kazuaki Tsuda, executive vice president of Suntory Ltd.; Kazuhiko Yamashita, executive vice president of Dentsu Inc.; and Yukihiro Kadono, professor of Mukogawa Women's University.Anyone who wishes to support Osaka's bid for the 2008 Olympics can be a member of the group, regardless of current addresses or birthplace.The membership fee is set at ¥2,008 to reinforce the idea of holding the Olympics in the year 2008.A T-shirt, membership card and sticker designed around the group's logo will be sent to all those joining the group.The logo is composed of an ""index finger up,"" a Japanese child's sign to recruit playmates, and the words ""OSAKA 2008.""The organizers hope to promote the Olympic bid through grass-roots signature collections, rallies, contributions to magazines and advertising on Internet sites.