Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee president, recently had a discussion with the Japanese Olympic Committee on the issue of abuse within Japanese sport. Last month, Human Rights Watch reported that child athletes in Japan often suffer physical and verbal abuse. They are even victims of sexual abuse during training.
The report was based on the experiences of over 800 athletes in 50 sports. It was titled “I Was Hit So Many Times I Can’t Count”, which went to look at Japan’s history of physical punishment in sport and included first-hand accounts from athletes.
IOC and JOC Taking Actions Against The Issue
The IOC said that Bach held a teleconference with Yasuhiro Yamashita, JOC chief, and discussed about the changes that will be made. IOC said, “Both Presidents stressed the determination of their organizations to fight against any form of abuse.” Yamashita informed Bach about all the different measures that have been taken in Japanese sport in the past few years. One of them is the introduction of a governance code for Japanese sport, which was established in June last year.
JOC stated that, “In light of incidents in the past, various efforts have been made to eliminate abuse in the sport world. Together with each NF (National Sporting Federation) and other relevant bodies, the JOC will continuously exert the utmost effort to revert to the fundamental understanding of wiping abuse from elite sports activities.”
With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games being postponed to the next year due to Covid19 outbreak, Japan has one year to take decisive action before the games begin.