Fukushima Wants to Host Baseball, Softball in 2020 Olympics

May 26, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. renovate / ˈrɛn əˌveɪt / (v.) – to repair something
Example: The city wants to renovate an old sports facility.

2. endorsement / ɛnˈdɔrs mənt / (n.) – the act of approving or supporting someone or something
Example: The boy needs an endorsement from his previous coach.

3. nominate /ˈnɒm əˌneɪt / (v.) – to appoint or choose someone or something for a position
Example: He was nominated Most Valuable Player in the league.

4. poll / poʊl / (n.) – an activity in which opinions or information from a number of people are collected
Example: The popularity of the sport was based on a recent poll.

5. inclusion / ɪnˈklu ʒən / (n.) – the act of adding something in
Example: Many students rejoiced after the inclusion of baseball in the sports festival.


Read the text below.
Fukushima recently expressed its desire to host the baseball and softball games for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The prefecture holds the J-Village sports facility, which will be renovated in preparation for the Olympics. The Japan football team used to train in this facility. But after the nuclear meltdowns in March 2011, the government converted the facility into a base camp to house workers tasked to clean the debris from the meltdowns.

However, it is still not clear if baseball and softball will be included in the 2020 Olympics program. This is because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) removed both sports from the Olympics program after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Nonetheless, the IOC may agree to re-add baseball and softball in the 2020 Olympics because both sports are very popular in Japan.

With the 2014 endorsement of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, organizers are actually allowed to nominate one or more sports for the 2020 program. Thus, Tokyo can create a proposal to bring back baseball and softball in the Olympics program.

The popularity of baseball and football in Japan was proven by a nationwide poll conducted by media firm Yomiuri Shimbun. According to this poll, almost 70% of 1,522 Japanese respondents want to include both sports in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics program. Despite this result, the inclusion of baseball and softball in the program is not guaranteed. Aside from the said sports, many other sports are proposed to be added in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the IOC will allow Tokyo to include baseball and softball in the Olympics program? Why or why not?
·         What other sports do you expect to see during the 2020 Olympics? Please discuss why.

Discussion B

·         What makes a sport popular?
·         How can hosting the Olympics help a country’s economy?

May 26, 2015