The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday launched the Bureau of Sports, marking the first Japanese local government initiative dedicated exclusively to the promotion of sports. The bureau will comprehensively promote sports for all age groups and abilities throughout Tokyo, and work to deepen Tokyo’s ties with the international sporting community.
Under the concept of “Sports for All,” the bureau will strive to realize a society where all residents are able to enjoy sports as a lifelong activity anytime, anywhere, and in ways that match their ages, skills, interests and objectives. Specifically, the bureau aims to increase the sporting population of Tokyo to over 60% by 2016, from under 40% currently.
The bureau integrates existing municipal divisions responsible for sporting events in Tokyo including the annual Tokyo Marathon and the National Sports Festival scheduled for 2013. The bureau will promote the hosting of more international sports events, while strengthening Tokyo’s ties with international sporting federations built through Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"I am deeply impressed by the ability of sports to entertain people and inspire dreams and aspirations. The recent 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa has amply demonstrated this power by rousing the hopes and passions of people throughout the African continent, and indeed around the world,” said Kenichi Kasai, the inaugural director general of the Bureau of Sports. “The performance of the Japanese team has also had a positive impact and has further motivated Japanese people to take an interest in sports and even take up sporting activities for themselves. Our aim is to promote the various benefits and the great enjoyment of taking part in sporting activities, and invigorate Tokyo and the whole of Japan through the power of sports.”
As a direct result of its bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo has reaped many rewards. Sports have gained an increasingly widespread popularity among Tokyo residents, and the metropolitan government plans to deepen its relationship with the sporting community.© Japan Today