Statement by H.E. Ambassador YAMANAKA Osamu, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the General Assembly High-level Debate on "Crime prevention and sustainable development through sports"


Mr. President,
Sport is a universal human culture and essential for the healthy growth of the mind and body.
Through sports, people have the opportunity to build self-awareness, interact with each other, and feel a sense of camaraderie.
Participation in sports and experiencing enjoyment and pleasure can lead to the concept of well-being, which enriches people's lives and minds.
Sports have the power to solve various social issues and play an important role in terms of the SDGs and crime prevention.
In this context, UNODC has been promoting the crucial role of sports in building safer communities and combatting youth violence and crime, in cooperation with other stakeholders such as the IOC and FIFA.
These activities, I believe, have a great impact and contribute to “Youth empowerment for crime prevention” which was one of the most important themes in the Kyoto Declaration adopted in Japan in 2021.
Mr. President,
Japan is working to create an environment that reduces juvenile delinquency by raising awareness of norms among youth and strengthening their ties with society.
The isolation of young people from their communities, inability to find a place of their own, and a deepening sense of loneliness are factors that contribute to juvenile crime.
From the perspective of preventing juvenile delinquency and promoting healthy development, Japan has been making efforts to have volunteers, mainly university students, work with community members and related organizations to help youth learn the importance of teamwork and friendship and feel a sense of unity and belonging through sports activities.
Mr. President,
Sports are also effective in preventing recidivism, especially among young people.
In this regard, many juvenile training schools in Japan are actively incorporating sports as part of their guidance.
Many juvenile delinquents have led indolent lifestyles, and maintaining a healthy mind and body through sports is a prerequisite for receiving correctional education.
Instruction through sports is effective in cultivating concentration, perseverance, and endurance, as well as improving cooperation and normative awareness, and together with other forms of instruction, has the effect of increasing the overall efficacy of correctional education.
Mr. President,
Sport has infinite potential for the empowerment of all people.
Japan will continue to promote sports policies and improve the social environment through sports.
I thank you.