New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) In the run-up to the Under-17 World Cup set to be hosted in the country next year, India and Japan on Friday decided to exchange sportspersons, coaches, experts and administrators to improve the standard of the game in both nations.
It was also decided that the two countries will play some friendly matches ahead of the tournament. The decisions were taken during a meeting between Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and a 12-member delegation from Japan led by Hase Hiroshi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
“Both sides also agreed for exchange of sportspersons, coaches, sports experts, sports administrators, etc., and decided that they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of sports,” a statement from the sports ministry said.
Hiroshi also informed that the Shinzo Abe-led government has launched a programme named ‘Sport For Tomorrow’ to promote sports among more than 10 million people in 100 nations between 2014 and 2020. In 2020, Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The goal is to spread values learned through sports and increase awareness of the Olympic and Paralympic movement.
Welcoming the country’s initiative, Sonowal said India will certainly like to avail of coaches and instructors in those sports disciplines where Japan is strong.
Sonowal also accepted the Japanese minister’s invitation to attend the ‘World Forum on Sport and Culture’, scheduled in October in the Japanese capital.