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.