Japan's Sports Agency Inaugurated 2015

Japan's sports agency inaugurated 2015Japan's government has inaugurated a new agency dedicated to promoting sport-related policies. Olympic swimming champion Daichi Suzuki is the agency's head.
The Japan Sports Agency was launched on Thursday as an external bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It has a staff of around 120.

Minister Hakubun Shimomura handed a letter of appointment to Suzuki, who won gold in the men's 100-meter backstroke in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Suzuki and Shimomura then attended a ceremony to unveil the signboard for the new agency, which is displayed at the main entrance of the ministry.

The agency will allocate funds to train Japanese athletes for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. It is also expected to encourage more people to practice sports, with a view to enhancing public health.

Addressing the staff, Suzuki said he is determined to work with them to promote sports and contribute to the overall development of society.

Noting that staff members come from different government offices and private firms, Suzuki stressed the importance of good communication and teamwork.

He said he hopes people 5 to 10 years from now will see the benefits of setting up the agency.