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Iwaki mayor makes formal request for city to host baseball, softball games during 2020 Olympics



Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu on Friday presented a request to 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizers, seeking to host a baseball game and a softball game in the city in Fukushima Prefecture.

Shimizu submitted the request to Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, and Toshiei Mizuochi, senior vice minister of both the sports ministry and the Cabinet Office.

The request comes as Tokyo Olympic organizers are arranging to stage one first-round game each for baseball and softball in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as part of reconstruction efforts.

They are said to be considering Iwaki, Fukushima and Koriyama cities as candidate sites.

The Iwaki municipal government wants the games played at Iwaki Green Stadium, which is occasionally used for Japanese professional baseball games and was the venue of the Under-15 World Cup baseball competition in July and August.

Shimizu expressed hope that the stadium will be chosen as an Olympic venue as that would “give hope and courage” to survivors of the quake and tsunami which also triggered a nuclear accident in the prefecture.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Summer Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In the request, Shimizu and the mayors of eight nearby towns and villages are also requesting that the Olympic torch relay run on National Route 6 in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture.

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima could host 2020 events



Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are working toward staging a baseball and softball game in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Fukushima Prefecture, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Baseball and softball were among the five sports approved last month by the International Olympic Committee to be added to the Tokyo Games program, and the 2020 organizers will look to get approval for the plan from the IOC executive board in December.

The organizers are working to present the idea to IOC president Thomas Bach in October when he visits Japan for a meeting.

Three baseball parks inside the prefecture — all previous hosts of NPB games — are on the shortlist, and organizers are likely to argue accessibility from Tokyo and the possibility of installing fixed seats in the outfield stands as to why the idea is feasible.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium, home of the Yokohama BayStars.

Former Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo reiterated on March 11 — the fifth anniversary of the disaster — that the prefecture could host some games in order to demonstrate the revitalization of the Tohoku region, most affected by the disaster.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori met Yoshiro Mori, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president, on Wednesday to request his region be given the opportunity to host the two games in the baseball and softball tournaments’ first round.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment