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  • IOC, IPC Ready to Work With New Japanese Leader


    (ATR) The presidents of both the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are among those congratulating Yoshihide Suga for his appointment as prime minister of Japan.

    Yoshihide Suga was Shinzo Abe's right-hand man. (Wikipedia)
    Suga, 71, was chosen by parliament on Wednesday to succeed Shinzo Abe, who resigned last month due to health reasons after a nearly eight year tenure.

    The result of the vote was widely expected since Suga won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election in a landslide on Monday.

    The new prime minister served as chief cabinet secretary under Abe, and has pledged to continue with many of his predecessor’s programs including supporting the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

    Suga is keeping about half of the cabinet from Abe’s administration, including Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto. She is one of only two women in the cabinet.

    IOC President Thomas Bach, in a congratulatory statement, said “I would like to thank Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide very much for the commitment he has already expressed for safe and successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, next year.

    “I am sure that, with this continued personal support of the Prime Minister, the Olympic Games will be the light at the end of the dark tunnel in which humankind currently finds itself.”

    IPC President Andrew Parsons also congratulated Suga on his appointment, saying in a statement “As shown with his support and involvement in the Paralympic one year to go campaign in 2019, when he played boccia against IPC Vice President Duane Kale, Mr. Suga is a keen advocate and supporter of the Paralympic Games, the Paralympic Movement and the transformational impact next year’s Games will have on driving social inclusion in Japan.

    “Mr. Suga and his government can count on the IPC’s full support as we aim to deliver sensational and transformational Games next summer.”

    Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, himself a former prime minister of Japan, added his best wishes for Suga.

    "I extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Suga on his appointment as Prime Minister. The Government of Japan has provided tremendous support to the Tokyo 2020 Games since the bid phase as the driving force behind our “All-Japan” approach and I hope for Prime Minister Suga's continued support and guidance.” 

    Mori added that the most pressing issue for Tokyo 2020 remains the development of COVID-19 countermeasures that will ensure a safe and secure Games.

    Homepage photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Written by Gerard Farek

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