Japan eyes public-private partnership for sports aid abroad

Japan plans to set up an organization as early as April, under which both public and private sectors will help developing countries work out sports programs at schools and host sporting events, a government source said Tuesday.

The move follows up on a vow made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the International Olympic Committee meeting in September, at which Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, to provide assistance in sports for the international community.

The envisioned entity will be spearheaded by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the Japanese Olympic Committee and nonprofit organizations with experience in working with developing countries, and will support developing countries mainly in Asia.

With the public and private sectors teaming up, a government official expressed hope that Japan "can demonstrate to the international world that it is working as one toward the Olympics."

The Japanese government will fund the body's operating expenses and a secretariat will be formed to serve as a liaison office between Japan and the developing countries, the source said.