Tokyo to Propose Baseball, Softball, Karate for 2020 Olympics

  • Skateboarding, climbing, surfing also candidates for the games
  • International Olympic Committee to select sports in August

Tokyo will propose the addition of baseball, softball, karate and three other sports to the 2020 Olympics in Japan’s capital.

The organizing committee said Monday it will also suggest skateboarding, climbing, and surfing as candidates for final selection by the International Olympic Committee in August next year. Bowling, squash, and wushu failed to make the cut from a shortlist announced in June.

If approved, the events would add 18 competitions and 474 athletes to the games. Baseball, softball and karate are sports in which Japan is particularly strong due to their links to the nation’s history and culture.

Karate, one of Japan’s most popular martial arts, is believed to have developed on the southern island of Okinawa and spread to the main islands of Japan in the 20th century. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a close aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is chairman of a lawmakers’ group for the promotion of karate.

Baseball has been a staple of Japanese culture for more than a century after being introduced by the U.S. in the 1870s.

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