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2020 Tokyo Olympic Games: Japan boosting efforts for inclusion of Baseball and Softball

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games: Japan boosting efforts for inclusion of Baseball and Softball
24/11/2014

TOKYO — As support for baseball and softball to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues to grow across Japan, with pressure being applied from all parts of the world, the political group consisting of 67 Diet Members campaigning for baseball and softball at the Olympic Games assembled in Tokyo for the second time in a month on Tuesday, November 18 in the Japanese Diet.

TOKYO — As support for baseball and softball to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues to grow across Japan, with pressure being applied from all parts of the world, the political group consisting of 67 Diet Members campaigning for baseball and softball at the Olympic Games assembled in Tokyo for the second time in a month on Tuesday, November 18 in the Japanese Diet.

Kazuhiro Tawa, Senior Advisor of the Baseball Federation of Japan, and Ms. Taeko Utsugi, Vice President of the Japan Softball Federation — as well a World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) executive member — made presentations to the supportive Diet members, exchanged ideas and were encouraged to expand the baseball-softball Olympic inclusion campaign.

The Diet Federation members from the LDP of Japan recognized the ongoing work by the baseball softball family, including the screening of the publicity video on the stadium video screen during the recent WBSC-sanctioned “Japan Series” between the top-ranked Japanese National Baseball Team, Samurai Japan, and the MLB All-Stars at the Tokyo Dome, and University/High School Baseball Championship at Meiji Jingu Stadium.

Immediately following the Diet meeting, the 40-proposal IOC Olympic Agenda 2020 reform programme was released from Lausanne, Switzerland.

The potential reforms would allow host cities to propose the inclusion of one or more events for their games — a move which would clear the way for baseball and softball to be included in the 2020 Games.

IOC Vice-President John Coates, who was visiting Tokyo with his IOC Coordination Commission team, and Chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee Yoshiro Mori, spoke to the media on how the IOC President Thomas Bach’s reform agenda could affect planning for Tokyo 2020.

“In the case of Japan, including baseball and softball would be a great idea,” Mori said at the news conference last Wednesday. “The two sports are very popular in Japan and having them on the program would be a big plus.”

The reforms, “Olympic Agenda 2020,” will be put to a vote by the full IOC at a special session in Monaco on December 8-9.

The first/last bid from the new world governing body, WBSC, to include baseball and softball in the 2020 Olympic Games was at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 2013, where wrestling was voted back onto the official Olympic Programme the day after Tokyo was announced as the host of the 2020 Olympic Games.

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