Japan is set to promote different sports programs in more than 100 countries through the year 2020, just in time for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics that will be held in Tokyo. The target is developing countries and the goal is to provide support in holding sports meets and competitions, and creating physical education curriculum for schools.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed his support to help boost sports programs around the world in a general session of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires in September, where Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Around 1 billion yen (approx. US$9.6 million) will be allotted for the program from the 2014 budget, which will be endorsed on Tuesday. Another 400 million yen ($3.8 million) from the budget will be used to create modules and curricula for physical education, and will also provide fund and management expertise to countries with little to no experience in holding sports events. Promoting physical education overseas will be from a period of 3 to 5 years, where the government will help around 10 to 15 countries develop material and curricula on top of training the teachers to administer the lessons in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, universities and other organizations.
While Japan currently provides other countries support in their sports programs, specifically in building facilities and sending equipment, the new program is set to boost this kind of foreign aid. The government will also invite IOC members and other experts to visit the country to conduct lessons to people wanting to become sports instructors, and around 600 million yen ($5.7 million) from the budget will be allocated to construct facilities specifically for this purpose. Japan, along with other Asian countries like China and South Korea, will also donate funds to establish an Asian anti-doping foundation for next year to help prevent prohibited substance use in athletes.
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