İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO- It has been announced that Fukushima has been chosen to host baseball and softball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Officers argued that it would boost the region’s recovery from the nuclear disaster.
Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee of 2020 Olympics stated that Azuma baseball stadium, about 70km north-west of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, would host baseball games, probably the opening match and some softball fixtures. He said “By hosting Olympic baseball and softball events, Fukushima will have a great platform to show the world the extent of its recovery in the 10 years since the disaster”.
The idea has been allegedly taken in a meeting between the President of the International Olympic Committee( IOC), Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, conducted in October 2016.
Decision led controversies as efforts at the power plant to bring the reactors under control and recover nuclear fuel are still continuing. According to the official documents 120,000 people supposed to be living there, still cannot go back to their homes. Meanwhile, officials agreed to meet thousands of people to Fukushima for Olympics. Authorities estimate that it would take 40 years to make the area safe again. It is significant to remind that Turkey also applied to host the global event.
In March 2011, Japan hit with a 9 magnitude earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear disaster in Fukushima-Dai-Chi Power plant. About 18,000 people died in the the tripledisaster.