Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Charge d’Affaires ad interim
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Agenda item 11 (a) : Sport for peace and development: building a peaceful and better world through sports and the Olympic ideal
Sixty-sixth Session of the General Assembly
17 October 2011
At the outset, I would like to commend the United Kingdom for promoting this year’s Olympic Truce resolution. The Olympic Truce resolutions have now become a valued tradition of the General Assembly. And Japan, as a co-sponsor, strongly supports the spirit of the resolution to “build a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal.” We firmly believe that the Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted by London next year will realize the ideal and objectives of the resolution.
This August, the Basic Act on Sports entered into force in Japan. The Act starts with the phrase that “Sports are a universal culture of all humankind.” The objectives of the Act are to stipulate basic ideas on sports and promote comprehensive and planned policies on sports, thus contributing to developing the physical and mental health of the people, and to realizing a vibrant society and the harmonized development of the international society.
In this regard, I would like to mention the Japanese Women’s football team, well-known as “Nadeshiko Japan,” the winner of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Germany. Their best play on the pitch gave so much hope and encouragement to the people who were facing difficult situations in the aftermath of the great earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. The Nadeshiko Japan has also conveyed a video message expressing the heartfelt thanks from the people of Japan to world for the support extended and solidarity shown through donations and other means. This is the power of sports that we believe in.
The principles of the Basic Act on Sports include the promoting of an environment for persons with disabilities to participate voluntarily and actively in sports, with necessary consideration of the different types and levels of disabilities. Another important principle of the Act is to contribute to enhancing mutual understanding among people and countries as well as international peace. These principles are exactly in line with those of the Olympic Truce resolution to be adopted today. Based on the principles, the Basic Act on Sports stipulates as its policies that the central and local authorities shall make efforts to promote advantage of persons with disabilities in sports facilities, and to contribute to international understanding and peace by taking necessary measures to promote international exchange and contribution through sports.
Finally, Mr. President,
Tokyo has made an official bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. If the bid is won, the Government of Japan will use it as an opportunity to further strengthen and develop the spirits of the Olympic Truce resolution of the General Assembly.
I thank you, Mr. President.