J-Village to serve as soccer training base for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The Japan Football Association (JFA) has decided at a board meeting to use the J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture as a base for the men's and women's national soccer teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The facility, straddling the towns of Naraha and Hirono, has served as Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s forward base coping with the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. It is to reopen in full capacity as a refurbished training center in April 2019. The possibility has arisen that the J-Village may also be used by Japan's national World Cup team and generational squads such as underage teams after the upcoming Olympics. According to the association, JFA President Kuniya Daini told a board meeting at the end of last year that “generational teams have got a lot of assistance from the J-Village and Fukushima.” Daini, who had broached the idea of using the facility in connection with the Tokyo Olympics, then proposed to “use the J-Village as a training center as it used to be before the nuclear accident.” The board unanimously favored the proposal, agreeing to use the J-Village as a core facility for enhancing team strength, including as a training camp for the Tokyo Olympics. The JFA leader had indicated earlier at a meeting with Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and on other occasions that the soccer community would like to use the J-Village as one of the facilities for the women's World Cup in 2023, which Japan is seeking to host. The JFA is poised to continue discussions with a view to using the J-Village after the Tokyo Olympics as a training base for the men's and women's national World Cup squads. (Translated by Kyodo News)