Fifth Meeting of the “Panel of Experts on Strengthening Sport Diplomacy”
September 4, 2014
On September 3, commencing at 10:00 a.m. for approximately two hours, the fifth meeting of the “Panel of Experts on Strengthening Sport Diplomacy” was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A summary of the meeting is as follows:
1. At the beginning, Mr. Nobuo Kishi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, expressed his gratitude for the “Interim Report” submitted the other day. Concerning the theme of the fifth meeting, “Japan’s sports in an international arena,” Mr. Kishi stated that he would like the participants of the meeting to hold proactive discussions on the efforts necessary for Japanese sports figures to play an active part internationally.
2. In the presentation, Ms. Yuko Arakida, Managing Director of the National Team’s Commission of the Japan Volleyball Association, stated that it would be important for those relevant to sports, including top officials of each sport association, to show an attitude of intentionally recruiting talent and sending them to the international society for the advancement of Japanese sport figures into an international arena. Moreover, Mr. Gotaro Ogawa, Special Advisor on International Relations of the All Japan Judo Federation, opined the issues of Judo for its internationalization and expected tasks of the future. Mr. Ogawa also made specific proposals such as the formation of a team in charge of international relations and the sharing of information in each sport association. Finally, Mr. Tomiaki Fukuda, President of the Japan Wrestling Federation, suggested that in order for Japanese to play more active roles in international sports federations, it would be necessary for them to be competent in foreign languages, to continuously develop a network of connections and to proactively work when an election of committee members of such federations are held.
3. In the subsequent discussion, a Panel member pointed out that in order to involve athletes in international contribution, it would be necessary to consider a system for financially supporting their involvement and both private and public sectors should discuss it in the future. Moreover, there were opinions which suggest to increase the number of talented people who could turn their eyes to the international arena through effective utilization of existing overseas training programs and also to increase the number of Japanese officials at director-level as well as the number of Japanese personnel in international sport associations. In addition, there was also an opinion that the cooperation between each sport associations and Japanese government establishments abroad, etc, to share knowledge and to strengthen relationships as a team in charge of sport diplomacy would be important for facilitating activities in an international arena.
4. Finally, State Minister Kishi stated that establishing a system to support producing human resources that work in an international arena through unified efforts would be important and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would discuss specific policies and measures with relevant ministries and agencies.