INTERVIEW: Japan Olympic Minister Positive on N. Korea Joining Tokyo Games

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)--Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan's minister for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, has sounded positive on North Korea's plans to join the quadrennial sporting events.

"Generally speaking, it's desirable for the games to be participated by a number of countries," Sakurada said in a recent interview with media organizations including Jiji Press.

First, the International Olympic Committee, the North Korean Olympic committee and the Tokyo organizing committee for the 2020 Games will make necessary adjustments on North Korea's possible participation, Sakurada said, noting that the Japanese government will consider its response while keeping "a close tab" on the talks among these organizations.

Sakurada, who took up his current post in a cabinet reshuffle in early October, showed his hope that the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago will be resolved before the 2020 Games.

"I hope that by the start of the Olympics, an environment will be created in which Japanese people are ready to accept North Korean athletes in an amicable manner," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press