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Three sports sessions are scheduled for Tokyo on the “Appeal of Rugby, Power of the Rugby World Cup,” “The Legacies Created by the Olympics and Paralympics” and “Sports Ministers’ Meeting.”

Daichi Suzuki

Among them, at the Sports Ministers’ Meeting, we plan to have discussions with the ministers from each country about “Sport for Tomorrow” as the main subject. This is aimed at improving the sports environment toward the future and changing society through sports, based on the discussions on sports at many international venues, including the UNESCO World Sport Ministers Conference.

On this occasion, we plan to set up three sessions: “Sports for Development and Peace,” “Sports for All” and “Sports Integrity Protection,” which are the keys for “Sport for Tomorrow.” As the host country of large-scale international sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan will take the initiative through these sessions in exchanging opinions and information among sports ministers from each country. I hope this forum will lead to further international discussions on sports.

In addition, as the first Asian host country of the Rugby World Cup, and as the first country to do so without a tradition of rugby, we plan to have discussions on the dissemination of the appeal of rugby to those countries where the sport has not yet become popular, as seen in Asia; and on the potential social and economic developments, domestically and internationally, that could be brought about by hosting the Rugby World Cup during the “Appeal of Rugby, Power of the Rugby World Cup” session.

Furthermore, at the session, “The Legacies Created by the Olympics and Paralympics,” we plan to have discussions among people involved, including athletes, on what legacies have been brought about by the Olympic and Paralympic Games; and what kind of actions we should take to continue their success.

One of the great qualities of sports is the power to connect people to people beyond ethnic distinctions; national borders; genders; presence or absence of disabilities; and language barriers. In resolving a wide range of issues facing the world such as conflicts and poverty, the potential of sports has become more highly valued in recent years.

I am confident that all the participants at this forum, including sports ministers and people involved in sports, believe in the power of sports to connect the world and future, and make changes there through sports.


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