Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he would be ''the first to applaud'' if Istanbul is chosen to host the 2020 Olympics.
Tokyo and Madrid are also bidding for the games. Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Abe during his visit to Turkey on Friday.
Abe appeared to be trying to make amends for remarks by the governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, who suggested in an interview with the New York Times that Istanbul was less developed and less equipped to host the games than the Japanese capital.
Inose was quoted as saying ''the only thing (Muslim countries) share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.''
The governor later apologized and Turkey said it accepted the apology.