Olympics

Iwaki mayor makes formal request for city to host baseball, softball games during 2020 Olympics

Kyodo

Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu on Friday presented a request to 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizers, seeking to host a baseball game and a softball game in the city in Fukushima Prefecture.

Shimizu submitted the request to Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, and Toshiei Mizuochi, senior vice minister of both the sports ministry and the Cabinet Office.

The request comes as Tokyo Olympic organizers are arranging to stage one first-round game each for baseball and softball in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as part of reconstruction efforts.

They are said to be considering Iwaki, Fukushima and Koriyama cities as candidate sites.

The Iwaki municipal government wants the games played at Iwaki Green Stadium, which is occasionally used for Japanese professional baseball games and was the venue of the Under-15 World Cup baseball competition in July and August.

Shimizu expressed hope that the stadium will be chosen as an Olympic venue as that would “give hope and courage” to survivors of the quake and tsunami which also triggered a nuclear accident in the prefecture.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Summer Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In the request, Shimizu and the mayors of eight nearby towns and villages are also requesting that the Olympic torch relay run on National Route 6 in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture.

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