By Nick Butler

A new Cabinet Minister will assume responsibility for preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in six years time ©Getty ImagesA new post will be set up to oversee preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Japanese Cabinet revealed today.

The new Minister will have the full-time task of overseeing multiple Ministries and agencies to coordinate preparations for the Games.

Among various areas this will span will be the construction of venues, ensuring appropriate security and anti-terrorism arrangements, and preparing transportation networks.

It will be a full-time post and will seek to boost cooperation and communication between the Government and Tokyo 2020.

The new post, which remains subject to Parliamentary approval, will bring the total number of Cabinet Ministers up to 19, an increase on the 18 currently allowed under Japanese law. 

If approval is granted during the current Diet Session of Parliament, as is hoped, the new Minister will be appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by the end of the year at the earliest, officials revealed.

"We are aware that the Cabinet meeting today approved a bill to create a dedicated minister seat to oversee the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Tokyo 2020 Communications Director Masa Takaya told insidethegames following the announcement.

"Even since the bidding phase, the National Government has been playing a key role to host the 2020 Games.

"Every single development within the National Government demonstrates that Tokyo 2020 receives a great deal of Government support."

"Tokyo 2020 is being prepared by 'All Japan' team's effort, and we will keep working closely together with the Government to ensure the successful Games delivery in 2020."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pictured with his new Cabinet last month. The new Minister will bring the total number of members to 19 ©Getty ImagesPrime Minister Shinzo Abe pictured with his new Cabinet last month. The new Minister will bring the total number of members to 19 ©Getty Images

The Olympics currently fall under the responsibility of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, where Hakubun Shimomura is the Minister, but if the changes are approved, this would not be the first time a host nation has appointed a Minister with specific responsibility for an Olympic Games.

Between 1995 and 2001, Michael Knight, who was also head of the Sydney 2000 Organising Committee, served as Australia's Minister for the Olympics in the Labour Government of Bob Carr.

More recently, Dmitry Kozak was appointed as one of six Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia in 2008, but had specific responsibility for planning the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On this occasion, the Minister's primary challenge will be overseeing progress with regard to the Games venues, with Tokyo 2020 President, former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori, admitting last week to being "worried" about delays in demolishing the old National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. 

The new Stadium, expected to be the centrepiece of the Games, is due to host to host athletics, football, rugby sevens and both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Transport issues will be another area of focus, with International Olympic Committee Evaluation Committee member, Professor Philippe Bovy, claiming earlier this month that a good system will significantly improve the perception of how an Olympic Games is being run.

At the Cabinet meeting today, a basic policy for management and preparations for the Games was also adopted, with plans for a Government Olympics task force that will operate until 2020 provisionally drawn up.