By Duncan Mackay

Miki_Ando_celebrates_with_Japanese_flag_World_Championships_Moscow_April_30_2011June 14 - Japan has been given the opportunity to stage the World Figure Skating Championships in 2014, three months after being forced to withdraw from hosting this year's event because of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

The International Skating Union announced today 2014 event will be in Tokyo or nearby Saitama.

This year's World Championships had been scheduled for late March in Tokyo at the the Yoyogi National Stadium in the centre of the Japanese capital, which was unscathed amid the chaos.

But Japanese officials still withdrew following the earthquake and tsunami subsequent nuclear crisis after several teams expressed fears about travelling there. 

The competition was moved to Moscow, where Japan's Miki Ando (pictured) upstaged South Korea's Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na to strike gold in the women's event - a victory she dedicated to her country.

As well as the World Championships, April's new international team event in Yokohama was also called off.

But the International Gymnastics Federation's Executive Committee last month voted to keep their World Championships in Tokyo and they are due to take place in October. 

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) are expected to announce next month that they plan to launch a bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

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