Japanese delegation officials visit Hangzhou ahead of Asian Games
Published: Mar 16, 2023 01:01 AM
Photo: Courtesy of Hangzhou 2022 organizing committee

Photo: Courtesy of Hangzhou 2022 organizing committee

Two Japanese officials with the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) are visiting the venues of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, the organizing committee said Wednesday.

The visit is the third delegation to visit Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, after Saudi Arabian and South Korean officials did so earlier. 

Seiji Kudoh, a coordination official for the JOC, said the purpose of the visit is to understand the overall progress of preparation for the 2022 Asian Games.

"Our visit is to assess and provide athletes with the best competition conditions," he was quoted as saying.

The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games will be held from September 23 to October 8. The event was delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

E-sports, a favorite in Japan, will make history this year at the Asian Games as it will be the first time it has been included as a competitive sport at a multi-sport event. 

Asian sports powerhouse Japan is the second most-decorated delegation at the Asian Games after China, with a total of 3,054 medals since participating in the first Asian Games in 1951. Swimming and athletics are the biggest contributors for Japan's medal haul. 

Four Japanese athletes have won the Most Valuable Player award since its introduction in 1998, namely Koji Ito in athletics in 1998, Kosuke Kitajima in swimming in 2002, Kosuke Hagino in swimming in 2014, and Rikako Ikee in swimming in 2018. 

Japan is expected to send a delegation of over 1,000 people to Hangzhou in September to participate in the Asian Games, according to the Hangzhou 2022 organizing committee. 

Japan is also a regular host for sporting events. Besides hosting the Olympic Games in 2021, it hosted the 1958 Tokyo and 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games, and will host the 2026 Nagoya Asian Games.