Daichi Suzuki, the current head of the Japanese swimming federation and a 1988 Olympic swimming champion in the 100 backstroke, will become the head of the new Japan Sports Agency in October. The organization’s task is to integrate sports administration into one place, particularly as the country prepares to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
By funneling all government-based administration into one organization, one of the goals is to help create a singular focus and have policies come from one organization leading into the 2020 Games. But the chief focus is to improve the performances of Japanese athletes in all sports by the time the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics begin.
With the birth of this new agency, budgets are also expected to be streamlined, according to media reports. All of the individual sport federations will continue to operate as normal, but the government will have one place in which it will enforce policy and general plans.
Previously, sports administration was divided into several government ministries, including health, labor and education. The Japan Sports Agency will now fall under the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which has been responsible for creating the new agency and finding someone to lead the 120-person staff.
Suzuki, 48, has been the head of the Japanese swimming federation for two years. Under his leadership, the federation fostered a unique partnership with Swimming Australia to share resources, coaches and technology to help both nations boost their medal counts, particularly at the 2020 Olympics.
Swimming World’s Japan correspondent Hideki Mochizuki contributed to this article.