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Japan: Sports Agency Established, Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics Special Act Enacted

(June 5, 2015) The Diet (Japan’s parliament) has adopted two acts that are designed to support preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. One is an amendment to the Act on Establishment of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); it was promulgated on May 20, 2015. (Act No. 21, 2015, House of Representatives website (in Japanese).) Under the amended Act, a Sports Agency will be established within MEXT, effective as of October 1, 2015. The Sports Agency is expected to take measures to enhance the abilities of athletes who participate in the Olympics and Paralympics. (New Sports Agency Will Lead Enhancement of Athletes for Successful Olympics, YOMIURI ONLINE (May 19, 2015) (in Japanese).)

The second law is the Special Measures Act on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics (Act No. 33 of 2015 (promulgated on June 3, 2015), House of Representatives website (in Japanese)). Under this new Act, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Headquarters Office is placed within the Cabinet. (Id. art. 2.) Also, a new post of Minister in Charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be created soon. (Id. art. 6.) There have been two organizations preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics: the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Coordination Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games website, at 3 (Apr. 2015) (in Japanese).)

The government decided that a dedicated Cabinet post for the event is a necessity. (Diet Enacts Legislation to Create Ministerial Post for Tokyo Olympics, JAPAN TIMES (May 27, 2015).) The new office will deal with various matters related to the Olympics, such as implementing measures to counter terrorism. The office will also work on developing the transportation infrastructure. All the Japanese Ministers will take part in the work of setting basic policies for the preparation for and operation of the events. (Id.)