translated by Brett Larner
Under the leadership of director Toshio Katahira, the Fukushima Prefecture Track and Field Association made a formal request to the prefectural government on Sept. 25 to back a bid to host the 98th National Track and Field Championships in 2014. Delivering his petition to lieutenant governor Masao Uchibori, Director Katahira told him, "We want to show the whole country that even though we're in a tough situation because of the nuclear disaster, Fukushima is still alive and well." The lieutenant governor responded, "We have to closely examine to what degree the prefecture can prioritize the Championships as we continue to deal with recovery efforts."
In Olympic and World Championships years the National Championships serve as the selection race for the Japanese national team. According to Fukushima Prefecture Track and Field Association officials, apart from Tokyo eighteen prefectures have hosted the Championships. Osaka was the host this year, with the Championships scheduled to return to Tokyo next year.