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Japan confirmed as Asian Games 2026 host

Japan has continued its phenomenal run of success in attracting major sporting events to the country with the award of the Asian Games in 2026.

The city of Nagoya and Aichi prefecture in central Japan will host the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) 20th Asian Games.

The Asian Games will follow other top events including the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics 2020 which are being staged in Japan and which are being highlighted at the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2016 conference and exhibition at the Yokohama Arena this week.

The bid from Aichi-Nagoya was approved by the 35th OCA General Assembly in Vietnam, securing the OCA’s showpiece event for the next 10 years following Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, in 2018 and Hangzhou, China, in 2022.

OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, said:

The road map of our main event is very stable. Together with our three Asian Games in 2018, 2022 and 2026, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the next two Winter Olympics in Korea and China in 2018 and 2022 respectively, the sports calendar of Asia will be very busy with continental and international events.

The President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, introduced the city of Nagoya and the prefecture of Aichi to the delegates at the General Assembly and highlighted the industrial and economic strength of the region.

The Governor of Aichi prefecture, Hideaki Ohmura, described Nagoya as a leading sports city in Japan with a population of 7.5 million.

Professional sports clubs include Nagoya Grampus Eight football team and the Chunichi Dragons baseball team, and the region has also produced several top national athletes, including OCA Executive Board member Koji Murofushi, female wrestlers Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho and figure skater Mao Asada.

The OCA said the first theme of a five-concept Asian Games 2026 will be “Athletes First”, and excellent sports stadiums already exist such as the Mizuho Athletics Stadium, Toyota Stadium, Rainbow Hall and Rainbow Pool, Komaki Volleyball Arena and Nagoya Dome. The Main Media Centre will be located at the Nagoya International Exhibition Hall, and the total Asian Games budget was presented as USD$842 million.

The Asian Games was first held in 1951 and this will be the third edition to be staged in Japan, following Tokyo in 1958 and Hiroshima in 1994.

Image: 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games Hosting City Contract Signing Ceremony Courtesy (OCA).