INTERVIEW: Fukushima Governor Pins Hopes on "Reconstruction Olympics"

Politics

Fukushima, March 11 (Jiji Press)--Fukushima Prefecture hopes to show gratitude for the support it received from across Japan and abroad after the March 2011 natural and nuclear disasters, as well as the current state of reconstruction, through the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Masao Uchibori, governor of the northeastern Japan prefecture, has said.

"The novel coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the circumstances surrounding the Tokyo Games compared with a year ago," Uchibori said in a recent interview with Jiji Press. "Thorough measures against the epidemic need to be implemented, and we are working to ensure safety against the coronavirus ahead of the March 25 start of the Olympic torch relay" in the prefecture, he said.

"It might be difficult for people overseas to visit Japan (for the Tokyo Games), but we'll show our gratitude for the support and the reconstruction situation to people both at home and abroad, partly through online methods," the governor said.

Tokyo won its bid in 2013 to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics under the concept of leveraging the games to promote reconstruction in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, which was ravaged by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. Also, many areas in Fukushima, part of Tohoku, were affected by radiation from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which sustained serious damage from the tsunami.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics were postponed to this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press