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  • Asia "Shoulder to Shoulder" with Japan, Says Olympics Chief


    OCA President Sheikh Ahmad at the open of the EB meeting in Tokyo. (ATR)
    (ATR) The head of the Olympic Council of Asia says this week’s OCA meeting in Tokyo shows solidarity with Japan as it recovers from the March earthquake.

    “The Olympic Council of Asia stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Japan,” said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at the opening of an OCA Executive Board meeting in Tokyo ahead of the OCA General Assembly set for Thursday.

    Ahmad said the OCA did not consider moving its meetings from Tokyo, which were scheduled well before the massive quake.

    “We will do all we can to help Japan overcome the damage that has been done by this crisis,” said the OCA chief.

    Ahmad says another factor that makes this OCA gathering a must for Tokyo are commemorations later this week for the 100th anniversary of the Japan Olympic Committee, which he called “the root of sport for Asia”.

    The OCA chief also mentioned the victory won by PyeongChang last week for the 2018 Winter Olympics, saying that it shows “the Olympic Movement
    Tokyo Skyline. (ATR)
    has trust and confidence in Asia”.

    The one-day general assembly will include election of officers to new four-year terms. Most of the leadership, including Sheikh Ahmad, is unopposed. Two vice presidencies were to be contested Thursday, including the Central Asia seat held by Gafur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan. The other vice presidential race is for the
    Gafur Rakhimov seeks to hold on to his OCA vice presidency. (ATR)
    South Asia seat.

    The assembly will open with remarks from IOC President Jacques Rogge. Thursday he will also speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club, likely to be a well-reported event, with questions expected on a Tokyo Olympic bid.

    Japanese leaders now weigh whether to proceed with a Tokyo bid after the 2018 Games became certain for nearby South Korea. Rogge is scheduled to see leaders of the government on Friday.

    Rogge will visit the national training center for Japanese Olympians during his four-day visit, taking part in the JOC anniversary events Friday and Saturday.

    Written and reported in Tokyo by Ed Hula For general comments or questions, click here.

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