MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) - Japan relies on Russia’s support in the upcoming voting for the venue of the 2020 Olympic Games, Hakubun Shimomura, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, told Itar-Tass on Monday.
The minister on a visit to Russia said he would personally attend a session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Buenos Aires, where the fate of Tokyo is to be decided on September 7. Madrid and Istanbul are also competing for the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
“Within the framework of the World Athletics Championship currently held in Moscow, I have met with representatives of the Olympic Committee, in particular with Chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov,” Shimomura said. “I have very favorable impressions,” he added.
“The city that will host the 2020 Olympic Games will be chosen on September 7, and we rely on Russia’s support, taking into consideration the fact that there are three Russian representatives in the IOC,” he added.
He also noted with that in view that Russia’s role in the world sports life has been growing of late.
“The attention that your country pays to hosting international sports competitions testifies to that,” he continued. “Over a short period of time, Russia has hosted and will host competitions of a highest level, such as the current World Athletics Championship as well as the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014,” he added. “We are planning to send there a delegation of about 100 people. As the minister who supervises activity in the sports sector, I would like to see the Japanese team showing higher results than those it showed in Vancouver,” the minister said, adding that Japan came with three silver and two bronze medals at the Vancouver Olympics.
“It is well known in Japan that Russian President Vladimir Putin is fond of judo - Japan’s national sport, which makes us feel closer and better disposed to him,” the Japanese minister added. “I hope that our sports exchanges, especially in these kinds of sports where both countries demonstrate best results, will help to further develop sports relations between our countries,” Hakubun Shimomura said.