Students from Japan Disaster Areas Visit IOC Chief


Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--Six junior and senior high school students from the three northeastern Japan prefectures that were hit hardest by the March 2011 disaster met with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Thursday.

At the meeting in the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, the students sang in chorus "Hana wa Saku" (flowers bloom), a song written by movie director Shunji Iwai in prayer for disaster reconstruction. Bach seemed impressed and applauded.

Ibuki Aizawa, a 17-year-old student from Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, proposed directly to Bach a plan to sing in chorus during the Tokyo Olympic Games at the stadium in Fukushima Prefecture that is set to host baseball and softball matches.

Bach responded positively, saying the proposal will be discussed at an IOC Executive Board meeting.

"I think that the president is aware of the safety of foods from Fukushima and hopes to transmit the energy of the Tohoku (northeastern) region to the world," said Shuto Kumagai, a 17-year-old student from Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture who will serve as a torch relay runner for the Tokyo Olympics.

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Jiji Press