IOC awards ex-PM Abe with Olympic Order

NHK -- Nov 17
The International Olympic Committee has awarded former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo its highest honor for his contribution to the Olympic movement.

IOC President Thomas Bach presented Abe with the Olympic Order in Gold on Monday in Tokyo.

Abe is the third Japanese recipient of this order of merit.

He successfully led Japan's campaign to host the 2020 Games in Tokyo. In March, he made an unprecedented proposal to push back the Games by one year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bach referred to Abe's speech at the IOC general assembly in 2013, when the Japanese capital was chosen as the host city.

He said Abe played a major role in convincing IOC members and dispelling doubts about Tokyo's readiness as an Olympic host.

Abe said the Tokyo Games will be an event that celebrates the dignity of humankind that will rise up again no matter how many difficulties it has to endure.