Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committees from Pyeongchang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 have agreed to work together as they prepare for three successive Asian Games at a time of regional tension.
The move, while largely symbolic, is significant given the increasingly fraught diplomatic relationships between South Korea, Japan and China.
An announcement was made here following an agreement between senior representatives from all three Committees.
Representatives from the three bodies were here to present to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board at a meeting which closed today.
According to a release circulated afterwards by Pyeongchang, they will work together under two “themes.”
These involve ensuring “efficient preparations” for their respective and aiding “promotion of the Olympic Movement.”
It is hoped that work undertake will include the transfer of organisation know-how as well as exchanges of staff.
The three Committees will also “explore the possibilities to work together in various projects.”
This will include “joint promotional activities at Pyeongchang2018…promoting the values of Olympism and peace, and staging various joint cultural events.”
Projects such as these will, it is hoped, generate “lasting legacies not only for sports in East Asia but also for the entire Olympic Movement as a whole.”
A teleconference was held between officials from all three Committee in June before the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean Sports Ministers signed a joint declaration here in September.
However, sporting harmony comes amid more political tension.
Island disputes and memories of World War Two continues to color relations between Japan and both China and South Korea.
Sino-South Korean relations have also soured after the controversial deployment of a United States’ missile defense system in the country, ostensibly in response to the North Korean threat.
China increased restrictions on companies doing business in South Korea while cruiseship passengers refused to disembark when docking at the tourist island of Jeju earlier this week in a symbolic protest.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.