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20 Nov 2013
IOC News

IOC President pays first visit to 2020 Olympic Games host Tokyo - meets Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Making his first official visit to Tokyo since his election as head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in September, President Thomas Bach today met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The pair discussed the structure of the local Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which should be formed within the coming months, and the Japanese Prime Minister also raised the composition of the Olympic programme and the possibility of including baseball in future editions of the Olympic Games.  

The Prime Minister also accepted an invitation from President Bach to attend the next Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, which begin in just over two months.

Accompanying the President for the meeting at the Japanese Diet were IOC Coordination Commission Chairman for Tokyo 2020 John Coates and Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President Tsunekazu Takeda, who led the successful Tokyo bid.   

The Japanese Prime Minister was accompanied by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hakubun Shimomura, who is also responsible for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games for the national government. They were joined by seven-time Olympian Seiko Hashimoto, who is also a parliamentarian.  

The IOC President later attended a meeting of Japanese business leaders eager to discover the potential opportunities of the 2020 Games.   

Earlier, President Bach had met Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose.  

The visit came just a week after a two-day Orientation Seminar delivered by the IOC to help the Japanese organisers successfully negotiate the crucial transition phase from bid city to organiser and get a quick start to preparations in the lead-up to the Games. 

It was the third stop for President Bach during a four-city Asian tour. On Monday he visited Nanjing, host of the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014, before travelling to Beijing on Tuesday. The President will conclude his tour in Seoul on Thursday with meetings with organisers of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

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