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Japan Makes Case to Keep Gymnastics Championships
TOKYO (AP) -- The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee is asking international gymnastics officials to keep the world championships in Tokyo this fall, saying it would ``uplift'' a country reeling from last month's earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis.

In a letter to International Gymnastics Federation president Bruno Grandi, Tsunekazu Takeda said Tokyo was not affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The disaster left 27,000 people dead or missing. A nuclear power plant in Fukushima was also damaged.

Hosting worlds would give the Japanese people hope, Takeda says, and ``encourage them to overcome this disaster.''

The world championship is the main qualifier for the 2012 Olympics. It's scheduled for Oct. 7-16 in Tokyo. The federation will decide next month whether to move the event.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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