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Politics

Abe and IOC chief to visit Fukushima Olympics venue

Disaster-stricken prefecture will host first event of the 2020 games

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, smiles at the end of the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Oct. 9.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach plan to visit the venue in Fukushima for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics later this month, a government source said Sunday.

With a "reconstruction Olympics" being one of the fundamental themes of the Summer Games, the government hopes the visit planned for Nov. 24 will increase momentum toward the recovery of the country's northeastern region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Bach will visit Japan to attend a two-day general assembly meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees starting Nov. 28, followed by an IOC Executive Board session, both to be held in Tokyo.

The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26, 2020, with the flame scheduled to be lit in the ancient Greek city of Olympia on March 12 the same year, a day after the ninth anniversary of the 2011 disaster.

The city of Fukushima will host six softball games including a match played by the Japan team on July 22 as the first event of the Olympic Games.

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