POSTED: Sunday August 12th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Japanese Government Delegation Makes Progress in London
Reaches Agreements to Promote Sports, Promotes Effort to Bring the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo
London, 12 August 2012 - Senior Japanese government officials attended the London Olympic Games to show their enthusiasm for the Olympic Movement and to build support for Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Games. With Japan’s long and distinguished contribution to the global sporting community and the esteemed place of sport in Japanese culture, the delegation was both honoured and excited to be a part of the spectacular celebration of sport. The officials met with several international counterparts, building further momentum to bring Games of excitement and excellence to Tokyo.
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Tokyo 2020 Special Advisor, Hirofumi Hirano, spoke with Australia’s Minister of Sports Kate Lundy. Hirano and Lundy vowed to continue the active bilateral engagement via sport that the two countries enjoy. This is of particular interest considering the impending 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia and 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The two also agreed to work closely to promote anti-doping in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) guidelines.
Hirano also met with Argentina’s Sports Secretary Claudio Morresi. They agreed to together promote exchanges through sport between the two countries.
Describing his experiences in London, Hirano said: “I was able to share my thoughts on Tokyo 2020 through the meetings with Australia’s Minister of Sports and Argentina’s Sports Secretary, in addition to exchanging ideas with 20 or more ministers from around the world. The Opening Ceremony was truly impressive and the audience was excited together as one. I look forward to giving everything I can to bring the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tokyo.”
Also during the Games time in London, Minister in charge of Sports Tenzo Okumura met with Wilfried Lemke, Special Advisor to Secretary General of United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP). Okumura and Lemke agreed on the need to promote sports for peace building and social development through sport. Okumura also explained that Japan’s “Basic Act on Sport” was revamped in 2011 for the first time in 50 years, a move that increases the role of sports in society domestically and internationally. Following the meeting Okumura said the advice he received from Lemke was invaluable.
Okamura, also a WADA Executive Committee Member, visited the headquarters of UK Anti-Doping, an organisation playing an integral and vital role in the London Games, and met with UK Anti-Doping Chair David Kenworthy and CEO Andy Parkinson. The two sides stressed on the important role government has in fighting against doping, as well as reaching accord on the ongoing role Japan will play in the development of anti-doping activities in Asia and the support of WADA’s global role.
The Olympic Games is a truly unique cultural experience and a singular opportunity to engage with people worldwide, not only for politicians and their international counterparts, but for athletes and the public as well. If Tokyo is awarded the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the city promises to be the perfect venue for Japan and the world to rediscover one another - and together shape the future.
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Name: Masa Takaya
Organization: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid
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