South Korea-Japan-China move on Youth Olympics


South Korea Japan and China cooperation for sports project Image: Architen Landrell

South Korea, Japan and China have vowed to bolster their cooperation to ensure a successful staging of the Winter Youth Olympics next year.

‘The Korea Times’ stated that the three countries reached this and other agreements during their fourth trilateral Sports Ministers’ meet held recently.

The 2024 Winter Youth Olympics, officially known as the IV Winter Youth Olympic Games and commonly known as Gangwon 2024, are an upcoming Winter youth multisport event scheduled to be held between January 19th and February 2nd, 2024 in Gangwon Province, South Korea.

Park Bo-gyoon, South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Keiko Nagaoka, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Zhou Jinqiang, Deputy Head of the General Administration of Sport in China, met virtually and produced the ‘2023 Seoul Joint Declaration’.

‘The Korea Times’ further stated that under the declaration, the three Asian countries said they would try to spread the spirit of the Olympics for the future generation, strengthen partnership to ensure sustainable sports development and reinforce cooperation in elite sports, anti-doping efforts and sports industries.

The three countries held their sports ministerial meeting in 2016, prior to a trio of Olympic Games they went on to host: The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This was the first meeting since Beijing 2022.

The Gangwon Province on the East Coast of South Korea will stage the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics, which Park said will be an opportunity to combine the best of South Korean pop culture and sports. He asked for continued interest and support from his Japanese and Chinese counterparts.

Recently, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) Coordination Commission on the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics concluded its two-day visit to Gangwon. Zhang Hong, Head of the Commission, and Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games Executive Director for the IOC, said they expected Gangwon to stage a successful competition.

Nagaoka and Zhou said they were looking forward to an Olympic Games filled with cultural events, and also called for trilateral cooperation for this year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, and the 2025 Tokyo Summer Deaflympics, a multisport competition for deaf athletes.

Park said in his keynote speech, “We must make sure the spirit of solidarity and harmony through Olympics will be passed down to future generations. This is the time to open a new horizon in Northeast Asian sports cooperation. Building on the unifying power of sports, the three countries must take the next step to become the leaders in international sports in the post-COVID era.”

Park added that a new paradigm in sports will be necessary as the world emerges from the pandemic – “With sustainable sports that take into account the environment and the less fortunate, we must lead the world to a better place. He noted that the areas of cooperation for the three countries include: Research on building a system for eco-friendly sports development, development of sports programs promoting health for the elderly population and strategies to support underdeveloped countries.

The next three-way Sports Ministers’ meeting is scheduled to take place in Japan in 2024, according to the South Korean Sports Ministry.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-Governmental sports organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an association under the Swiss Civil Code.

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