Fukushima could host 2020 events

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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.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2016/09/03/olympics/fukushima-host-2020-events/#.V8rqwa3KO-c

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