• Kyodo

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The government is set to launch a sports agency in fiscal 2015 under the education ministry to integrate sports administration in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

The first head of the new agency, which will have around 100 staff, is expected to be picked from the sports sector instead of lawmaker or bureaucrat circles, the sources said.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry will seek necessary appropriations in its budget request for the fiscal year from next April, they added.

The government plans to launch the agency in April after making a necessary legal revision at an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in the fall. But the launch could be delayed as arrangements among ministries concerned have yet to be completed. In the event of a delay, the agency is expected to be inaugurated by October next year, according to the sources.

Sports administration is currently dispersed among multiple ministries, including the education ministry and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Integrating the administration under the education ministry aims to ensure more efficient budgetary management to help improve the performance of Japanese athletes ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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