AOC president Coates visits Fukushima in lead up to 2020
25 November 2018
TOKYO 2020: IOC Member and AOC President, John Coates AC, has joined IOC President Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on a short trip to the Fukushima region north-east of Tokyo, an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The region will host baseball and softball matches during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the region will host the first leg of the Torch Relay in the run-up to the Games.
The visit on Saturday November 24th to the Azuma baseball stadium, showcased the progress of reconstruction efforts in the area.
The group also visited a badminton facility and met with local residents and young athletes ahead of a week-long series of meetings in Tokyo as preparations for Tokyo 2020 continue.
Sport has played a big role in the recovery efforts in the region.
Prime Minister Abe told the IOC delegation “Japan was determined to showcase progress in the recovery of the region”.
He congratulated the IOC for the “courage in deciding to have softball and baseball in Fukushima Stadium during the Olympic Games.”
Mr Bach told the Prime Minister that he was “very much impressed with the great progress of the reconstruction and the mental recovery the people had made in Fukushima.
"I am happy that sport has played such an important role in psychological recovery of the people," he said.
Mr Coates is Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games.