JAPAN - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to appoint Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura to be minister in charge of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, sources said Wednesday.
The official appointment may be announced this week, they said.
Shimomura is expected to be the sole government coordinator who will oversee administrative policies to foster stronger athletes and to build a better social infrastructure.
He is also expected to serve as the government representative who will liaison with the Olympic organisation committee, to be established by the Japanese Olympic Committee. He will also work with the Tokyo metropolitan government and other local governments, organisations representing specific sports and private volunteer organisations.
Abe is also considering appointing Shimomura to head a sports agency the government is aiming to establish as the sole administrating body over sports-related matters.
Preparations under way
Setting preparations in motion for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, the government has started working on athlete-fostering programs to increase medals to be won by Japanese players, along with social infrastructure projects to ensure the Games run smoothly.
After returning triumphantly from Buenos Aires, Abe held a meeting among all Cabinet ministers at the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday to confirm the government's full backing to make the Games successful.