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2020 Olympic torches to be made of recycled aluminum from Fukushima temporary housing

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This file photo shows the Tokyo Summer Olympics torch relay held in September 1964.
 
Olympics: 2020 torches to be made of recycled aluminum from Fukushima
Jan 1, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Recycled aluminum from temporary housing in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, is planned to be used in the crafting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic torches, sources close to the matter revealed Monday.
The plan is likely to attract interest in Japan and abroad as being another symbolic effort to uphold one of the main themes of the July 24-Aug. 9 Summer Games as a “reconstruction Olympics.”
More than 10,000 pieces of aluminum are expected to be needed for the torches, used by runners in the nationwide relay beginning after the Olympic flame arrives in Japan from Greece on March 20, 2020.
According to sources, organizers will need to coordinate with local governments in the future in order to determine which metals can be procured from temporary housing that is no longer in use.
Tokyo 2020 organizers are also collecting metals from used electronics handed in by consumers nationwide to forge the approximately 5,000 medals to be awarded at the Games, and said in October they had reached their target for bronzes.
The “flame of reconstruction” will first be displayed in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, the three most affected by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large part of northeastern Japan.
The Japan leg of the relay will begin in Fukushima on March 26, and will travel across all 47 prefectures of the country over a period of 121 days before arriving in Tokyo for the opening ceremony.
The design of the torch, which has already been approved by the International Olympic Committee, will be announced next spring.
 
 
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January 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | 1 Comment

4.1 micro Sv/h driving by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

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November 18, 2018 this person drove by the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. His Geiger counter showed.
Please send this info to any Olympic athletes you know in the world. Tokyo will never be safe but will be ready for 2020 Olympic Games, by sacrificing everyone’s health and global environment for a handful people’s wealth.

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Abe, IOC chief to visit Fukushima venue for 2020 Olympics

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November 5, 2018
TOKYO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach plan to visit the venue in Fukushima for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics later this month, a government source said Sunday.
With a “reconstruction Olympics” being one of the fundamental themes of the Summer Games, the government hopes the visit planned for Nov 24 will increase momentum toward the recovery of the country’s northeastern region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Bach will visit Japan to attend a two-day general assembly meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees starting Nov 28, followed by an IOC Executive Board session, both to be held in Tokyo.
The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26, 2020, with the flame scheduled to be lit in the ancient Greek city of Olympia on March 12 the same year, a day after the ninth anniversary of the 2011 disaster.
The city of Fukushima will host six softball games including a match played by the Japan team on July 22 as the first event of the Olympic Games.
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/abe-ioc-chief-to-visit-fukushima-venue-for-2020-olympics

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Child statue in protective suit in crisis-hit Fukushima unwelcomed for 2020 Olympics

Child statue in protective suit in crisis-hit Fukushima criticized

hkkllmm.jpgPassers-by look at Sun Child, a 6.2-meter statue clad in a protective suit, near JR Fukushima Station in northeastern Japan, on Aug. 12, 2018.

August 13, 2018
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — The statue of a child clad in a protective suit set up near JR Fukushima station has sparked criticism that it gives the impression that Fukushima residents need such gear after the 2011 nuclear crisis.
The 6.2-meter statue called Sun Child was made by contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe to express his wish for a world free from nuclear disasters. The statue indicates the surrounding air is “clean” as the child is holding its helmet in its hand and a radiation counter on its chest reads “000.”
Yanobe apologized on his website Friday for “discomforting” some people with his artwork, which was created in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant meltdown and installed near JR Fukushima station in the city of Fukushima on Aug. 3.
“I wanted to make a work that encourages people (in Fukushima)…and made the statue of a child standing up bravely and strongly against any difficulties it faces,” he said. “The clothing looks like protective gear, but it is also armor to confront major issues and, being like a space suit, it also carries a futuristic image.”
But he admitted that his earlier explanation of the artwork — such as calling the clothing “protective gear” and the device on the statue’s chest a “Geiger counter” — may have led to misunderstanding.
Critical views were posted on Twitter and the city of Fukushima received calls demanding the statue’s removal. “The statue will encourage reputational damage because it gives an impression that people in Fukushima cannot live without protective gear,” one person said.
Others argued the statue was “unscientific” because it indicates that it would only be safe for someone wearing protective gear to take off a helmet when the radiation level falls to zero. Usually the radiation level is not zero even in areas not affected by nuclear accidents due to natural radiation.
Yanobe said in a statement, “I should have paid more attention to the fact that accurate knowledge about radiation is needed much more now than before the disaster.”
Fukushima Mayor Hiroshi Kohata called for understanding in a Twitter post saying, “Contemporary art is abstract expression unlike science.”
Yanobe said he wants to discuss with the city about what to do with the statue.

 

Fukushima residents complain over statue of child in radiation suit

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Critics say artwork outside train station gives impression area is unfit for habitation
Sun Child is depicted in a yellow Hazmat-style suit. The mayor of Fukushima defended the decision to install the statue.
Mon 13 Aug 2018
Residents of Fukushima have demanded the removal of a statue of a child in a protective suit from outside the city’s railway station, saying it gives the impression that the area is unfit for human habitation as a result of the 2011 nuclear disaster.
The statue, by Kenji Yanobe, depicts a child dressed in a yellow Hazmat-style suit, with a helmet in one hand and an artistic representation of the sun in the other.
Yanobe said his Sun Child, which was installed by the municipal government after appearing at art exhibitions in Japan and overseas, was intended to express his desire for a nuclear-free world.
The artist said he did not mean to give the impression that local children needed to protect themselves from radiation more than seven years after the Fukushima Daiichi plant became the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
He pointed out that the child was not wearing the helmet and that a monitor on its chest showed radiation levels at “000”.
“I wanted to make a work that encourages people [in Fukushima] … and made the statue of a child standing up bravely and strongly against any difficulties it faces,” Yanobe said, according to Kyodo News.
But he added: “I should have paid more attention to the fact that accurate knowledge about radiation is needed much more now than before the disaster.”
His statue drew criticism on social media and in messages to the city government after it went on display this month. “It will cause damage to Fukushima’s reputation because it gives the impression that people cannot live there without protective gear,” one poster said, according to Kyodo.
Others pointed out that the monitor reading of zero was misleading, since areas that have not been affected by nuclear leaks have varying levels of background radiation.
The mayor of Fukushima, Hiroshi Kohata, defended the decision to install the statue, saying he believed the child looked hopeful about the city’s future, and the sun symbol was a reference to the need to develop clean energy sources.
However, he acknowledged public criticism of the statue and said he would take into account the opinions of residents before making a decision on its future.
Japan’s government hopes the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will help highlight Fukushima’s recovery from the disaster, despite the slow pace of the costly and complicated task of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi, and concerns about radiation levels in nearby communities.
The city will host Olympic baseball and softball games and was recently chosen as the starting point for the Olympic torch relay.
The row over the statue comes as local authorities are trying to persuade families to return to evacuated neighbourhoods. Few residents have returned to cities, towns and villages where evacuation orders have been lifted, with families with young children most concerned about moving back.
In Naraha, about 12 miles south of the plant, only several hundred people among the pre-disaster population of 7,400 have returned since the town was declared safe in September 2015.

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

First leg of 2020 Olympic torch relay will be in Fukushima

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2020 Olympic torch relay to start in Fukushima on March 26

July 12, 2018
In total denial of the omnipresent radioactive contamination risks…
Weightlifter Yoichi Itokazu, left, waves the Olympic flag while Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, second from right, waves the Paralympic flag during a Tokyo 2020 Games flag tour event at the Okinawa Prefectural Government building in Naha in this Oct. 30, 2017
TOKYO — A coordination council comprising organizations involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has decided that the torch relay for the 2020 Games will depart from Fukushima Prefecture on March 26, 2020, as part of efforts to encourage residents affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.
According to the Fukushima Prefectural Government, 44,878 residents still remained evacuated within and outside Fukushima Prefecture as of July 5, 2018. At a meeting of the coordination council held in Tokyo on July 12, top officials from the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the central government and other organizations agreed to pick Fukushima as the starting point.
The organizing committee had thus far given equal consideration to Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures — which were hit hardest by the March 11, 2011 disasters — in line with the banner of the “disaster recovery Olympics” it raised during its bid to invite the games to Tokyo. However, as the number of evacuees from Fukushima stands highest among the three prefectures, and the fact that the prefecture continues to face difficulties emanating from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe, the officials decided to choose the prefecture to symbolize disaster relief efforts.
“We wanted to respect the original starting point of our bidding campaigns,” said former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who chairs the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.
The council also announced the schedule for the 121-day torch relay, including seven days for the torch to travel between relay courses. Such travel between different prefectures will largely take place by car, while that to Okinawa Prefecture and Hokkaido will be carried out via ferry.
After spending three days being passed from runner to runner through Fukushima Prefecture, the torch will move to Tochigi Prefecture, then travel south to Gunma and Nagano prefectures, before heading to the Tokai and Kinki regions and the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. After reaching the southernmost island prefecture of Okinawa, the torch relay will start heading north on May 2, 2020, moving to the Chugoku, Hokuriku and Tohoku regions mainly along the Sea of Japan coast, before reaching the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido on June 14. From there, the torch relay will once again move southward, covering Iwate and Miyagi prefectures for three days each. As of late June 2018, some 5,022 Iwate Prefecture residents and 3,556 Miyagi Prefecture residents remained evacuated due to the 2011 disasters.
From Miyagi, the torch will then be transported to Shizuoka Prefecture using expressways. After a three-day leg each in Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures near Tokyo, and a two-day leg each in Yamanashi and Ibaraki prefectures, the Olympic flame will finally arrive in Tokyo on July 10. The torch will then be passed between all of the capital’s 62 wards, cities, towns and villages, including those on islands south of Tokyo’s city center, for a period of up to 15 days.
During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the torch relay departed from Okinawa, then still under control of the United States, covering a total of four different routes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) currently does not allow splitting courses.
The respective organizing committees set up in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures will draw up detailed route maps by the end of the year, while the Fukushima Prefectural Government will select the departure point. After the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee compiles the route plans, they will be finalized upon gaining the green light from the IOC by the summer of 2019. After the routes and the number of runners are decided, each prefecture will start selecting torch bearers.
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The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games meets on July 12 to approve the start of the 2020 Olympic flame relay.

First leg of 2020 Olympic torch relay to start in Fukushima

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games meets on July 12 to approve the start of the 2020 Olympic flame relay.
July 12, 2018
The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima Prefecture in 2020 to reinforce the image that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be about showcasing the reconstruction from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games approved the plan at a meeting on July 12 to have the torch relay start in Fukushima Prefecture from March 26, 2020. The relay will then travel through all prefectures of Japan before entering Tokyo on July 10, 2020.
“The struggles and sadness experienced by residents of the three hardest-hit prefectures (of the 2001 earthquake and tsunami) are tremendous,” Yoshiro Mori, the committee president, said at the organizing committee meeting. “Among the three, Fukushima Prefecture continues to be the one with the most number of evacuees.”
Each prefecture will establish a committee to organize the relay within their jurisdiction. Those committees will decide on the exact route the Olympic flame will take through their prefectures. Those courses are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
The Olympic organizing committee will compile those route plans and decide on the specific course of the torch by summer 2019.
There were two proposals for the start of the Olympic torch relay.
One called for the start to be in one of the three hardest-hit prefectures from the 2011 disasters–Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate.
The other was to follow the precedent set by the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics and start the relay in Okinawa Prefecture.
The experts panel within the organizing committee that considered the two proposals pointed out that starting the relay in the Tohoku region could lead to increased expenses because of the need for measures to deal with the cold weather in late March in those prefectures.
But organizing committee members increasingly held the view that there was a need to transmit the message that the Games would be all about recovery and rebuilding from the 2011 natural disasters and accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
That led to the decision to start the relay in Fukushima Prefecture.
Under the general outline agreed to, once the flame leaves Fukushima Prefecture, it would proceed south through the northern Kanto region before moving westward to the Chubu, southern Kinki, Shikoku and Kyushu regions. The flame would be transported by ferry from Kyushu to Okinawa Prefecture and back.
The relay would then pass through the Chugoku, northern Kinki, Hokuriku and Tohoku regions before going to Hokkaido. From the northernmost main island, the relay will proceed along the Pacific coast of the main Honshu island and go through Iwate and Miyagi prefectures before making its way around the southern Kanto region and entering the nation’s capital on July 10, 2020.
In Tokyo, the relay will extend over 15 days and pass through all 23 wards as well as outlying cities, towns and villages.
While the International Olympic Committee has set a broad outline for Olympic torch relays that they should be completed within 100 days, the Tokyo organizing committee has been granted an exception, and the relay will take up to 121 days.
Before the start of the Olympic torch relay, the organizing committee will display the flame brought to Japan from the traditional lighting ceremony in Greece as the “light of reconstruction” in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Stadium in Fukushima to be used as venue in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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TOKYO, March 17 (Xinhua) — Representatives from the organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said here Friday that the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in Fukushima Prefecture would be used as an additional venue for baseball and softball events during the 2020 Games.

In an effort to support areas in Japan hardest-hit by the quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the use of the 30,000-seater Azuma Stadium, in Fukushima City, the organizers said.

The announcement came after the IOC agreed to the proposal earlier Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The 31-year-old Azuma Stadium in Japan’s northeast, which will now have to be renovated, won unanimous approval by the committee ahead of two other stadiums in Fukushima, including the Kaiseizan Stadium in Koriyama and the Iwaki Green Stadium.

The stadium will likely be used for Japan’s opening games, officials here said. They added that the location of the events is hoped to ensure the plight of the people of Fukushima remains in the international spotlight, as well as give hope to and encourage the people who live in the disaster-hit prefecture.

According to government statistics, around 150,000 people were displaced as a result of the multiple meltdowns, which took place at the Daiichi plant following an earthquake-triggered tsunami on March 11, 2011.

The ongoing disaster at the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), remains the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/18/c_136138788.htm

March 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 1 Comment

2020 Olympics Baseball in Fukushima

Intense lobbying finally succeeded in getting approval for the 2020 Olympics baseball and softball events to take place in Fukushima prefecture, once more proving that economic reconstruction and pro-nuclear propaganda are more important priorities for the Japanese government than the health protection  of anyone.

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Nuclear-hit Fukushima gets nod for 2020 baseball

Nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima won formal approval to host baseball during the Tokyo Olympics on Friday — and may have the honour of putting on the opening game.

Chief organiser Yoshiro Mori said the International Olympic Committee’s executive board had agreed to hold baseball and softball in Fukushima at a meeting in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The choice of Fukushima comes after the prefecture was hit six years ago by the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, some of whom are still unable to return home.

“It’s the Tokyo Games but at least one game, probably the opening game, will go to Fukushima stadium,” Mori told reporters in Pyeongchang, venue for next year’s Winter Olympics.

“That was the proposal… and everybody agreed.”

The choice of baseball is significant as it is Japan’s most popular sport and will be closely watched by domestic fans when it returns to the Olympic schedule in 2020.

World Baseball Softball Confederation chief Riccardo Fraccari gave the Fukushima move his blessing, calling it a “tremendous honour and a duty” in a statement issued by Tokyo 2020 organisers.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which devastated a large swathe of northeastern Japan, leaving about 18,500 people dead or missing.

“Tokyo 2020 is a showcase of the recovery and reconstruction of Japan from the disaster, March 11,” Mori said.

“So in many ways we would like to give encouragement and hope to the people, especially in the affected area.”

Among similar efforts, the Olympic football tournament will hold preliminary games in Sendai, while the 2019 Rugby World Cup will take in Kamaishi — both cities in areas affected by the 2011 disaster.

While no deaths have been officially attributed to radiation exposure, some evacuees are concerned the government is moving too fast to deem closed-off areas safe to inhabit.

Government evacuation orders for some 70 percent of the originally closed off areas will be lifted by April 1, except for certain towns near the battered facility, and authorities are encouraging evacuees to return.

But Tokyo Electric Power Co, the nuclear plant operator, and the government are facing a four-decade task of cleaning up and decommissioning the facility.

The Olympic baseball and softball will be held in the Azuma stadium, which will be refurbished at the expense of the local authorities, Mori said

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nuclear-hit-fukushima-gets-nod-2020-baseball-031832337–oly.html

Anger as Fukushima to host Olympic events during Tokyo 2020 Games

The decision to hold baseball and softball matches in the city of Fukushima as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been criticised as a cynical manoeuvre by the Japanese government to convince the world that the 2011 nuclear crisis is over.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced on Friday that the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium will host softball and baseball matches during the Games.

Venues in Tokyo will host the majority of the sporting events, which will take place nine years after a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off Tohoku, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and the melt-down of three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which is less than 50 miles from Fukushima City.

In a statement, the committee said it believes that “the hosting of events in Fukushima will support recovery efforts in the overall Tohoku region.

“Matches played in the Tohoku region will be further evidence of Tokyo 2020’s commitment to bring sporting events to the recovering areas and will demonstrate the power of sport”, it added.

The statement makes no mention of ongoing efforts at the Fukushima plant to bring the reactors under control and recover the nuclear fuel that has escaped from containment vessels. Authorities estimate it will take 40 years for the site to be rendered safe.

Work is also continuing to decontaminate areas that were beneath the nuclear plume immediately after the accident. According to government figures, around 120,000 people are still not able to return to their homes because of the disaster.

“It’s fine for athletes and spectators to go to Fukushima for a couple of days to compete, but the Japanese government is using this to claim that everything is back to normal and that he evacuees should go back to their homes”, said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.

“It’s unconscionable”, she told The Telegraph. “To tell people that because the Games are being held in Fukushima that it is perfectly safe for people to go back to their homes, for farmers to go back into their fields, for children to play in the open air is just wrong”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2017/03/17/anger-fukushima-host-olympic-events-tokyo-2020-games/

Fukushima to host Tokyo Olympics events to help recovery from nuclear disaster

Some baseball and softball events will be held about 70km from nuclear power plant that suffered triple meltdown in 2011

Fukushima has been chosen to host baseball and softball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organisers said on Friday, a move they hope will boost the region’s recovery from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Azuma baseball stadium, about 70km north-west of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, will host at least one baseball game – possibly the opening match – and one or more softball fixtures, according to Yoshiro Mori, the 2020 organising committee president.

By hosting Olympic baseball and softball events, Fukushima will have a great platform to show the world the extent of its recovery in the 10 years since the disaster,” Mori said in a statement.

It will also be a wonderful chance for us to show our gratitude towards those who assisted in the region’s reconstruction. And I’m sure the people of Fukushima are also looking forward very much to seeing Olympics events hosted there.”

Mori said the “fantastic idea” to hold baseball and softball matches in the affected area had originated in a meeting between the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, in October last year.

Two months later, however, the IOC initially declined to add Azuma to the main baseball venue in Yokohama.

Riccardo Fraccari, the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, welcomed the IOC’s change of heart, describing it as a “great step” that would to “inspire hope and highlight the regeneration in Fukushima”.

He added: “It is a tremendous honour and a duty we take very seriously to be a part of something so meaningful – to serve the Olympic movement and to use the power of sport to shape a better world.”

The Fukushima prefectural government has offered to cover the costs of the refurbishment and renovation work needed to bring the 30,000-seat stadium up to Olympic standards, according to organisers.

Miyagi prefecture, where almost 11,000 people died in the March 2011 triple disaster along Japan’s north-east coast, will host preliminary matches in the 2020 football competition.

No evacuation order has ever been in place in the part of Fukushima prefecture where the baseball stadium is located. The Azuma sports park complex served as an evacuation centre for people fleeing radiation caused by the triple meltdown triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.

Nuclear power officials in Japan insist the 40-year effort to decommission Fukushima Daiichi, including the storage of nuclear waste, will not affect people visiting the region to attend Olympics events.

The IOC’s executive board, which is meeting this week in Pyeongchang, South Korea – the host of next year’s Winter Olympics – is expected to receive an update on the golf venue for 2020, which has come under pressure to change its discriminatory membership policy. Kasumigaseki Country Club, a private golf course in Saitama prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, forbids women from becoming full members and from playing on Sundays.

Last month, the IOC’s vice-president, John Coates, said organisers would have to find another venue if the club refused to drop its restrictions on female players.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/17/fukushima-to-host-tokyo-olympics-events-to-help-recovery-from-nuclear-disaster

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima to host some baseball, softball games at 2020 Olympics

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Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori (left) shakes hands with Yoshiro Mori, who heads the 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Wednesday in Tokyo, as the committee approved a plan to host baseball and softball games in the prefecture.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers on Wednesday gave the green light for disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture to host baseball and softball games.

Three cities — Fukushima, Koriyama and Iwaki — are under consideration to stage part of the competition as the two sports return to the Olympic program after an absence of 12 years.

Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, will visit Japan next week to inspect the venues. The International Olympic Committee will make the final decision when it holds its executive board meeting from Dec. 6 to 8.

“We want to emphasize this as a ‘recovery games’ and we want to work together with everyone to move it forward,” said 2020 executive board member Toshiaki Endo.

“These Olympics and Paralympics are not just for Tokyo but for the whole of Japan. We only have 1,353 days left, so we need everyone to make an effort so we can put on a fantastic event.”

IOC President Thomas Bach floated the idea of hosting baseball and softball games in Fukushima during a visit to Tokyo last month to take part in the World Forum on Sport and Culture.

“I felt that President Bach had a strong feeling toward Fukushima when he came here,” said Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori. “The idea of a ‘recovery games’ is once again in the spotlight and people are thinking carefully about how that can be achieved.

“It can show the courage of Fukushima Prefecture and the Tohoku region, and on a wider scale Kumamoto and Tottori — places that are working hard to recover from disaster.”

The Yomiuri Giants professional baseball team occasionally hosts Nippon Professional Baseball games at all three venues. Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and Iwaki Green Stadium both have capacities of 30,000, while the older Koriyama Kaiseizan Baseball Stadium holds 18,200.

Neighboring Miyagi Prefecture is hoping to stage rowing and canoe sprint events as a result of a cost-cutting review currently being undertaken by the IOC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 organizers and the national government.

“Miyagi Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture all suffered a lot of damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Uchibori.

“These three prefectures have a close bond and always work together. We want to form a movement. We want to show our appreciation to people and get people excited about the Tokyo Olympics. I’d like to consult with my fellow governors.”

Uchibori also said he would like his prefecture to host other Olympic-related events such as training camps and a section of the torch relay.

Baseball and softball were voted back onto the Olympic program as a joint bid at an IOC session in Rio de Janeiro in August ahead of the Summer Games. The format of the competitions has yet to be decided.

Fukushima eyed for baseball, softball games in 2020 Olympics

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment