The first World Cup of a Japanese-invented sport in which participants compete over the types and amount of litter they can pick up will be staged in Tokyo this November, the Nippon Foundation said Tuesday.

Qualifying events are scheduled in about 20 countries for the sport launched in 2008, called "SpoGOMI," which combines words meaning "sport" and "trash" in Japanese.

Under World Cup rules, each team consists of three people and has an hour to collect litter at a designated area such as the beach and streets.

"Picking up litter can be fun if you make it a game to compete in," SpoGOMI ambassador and Olympic swimming medalist Takeshi Matsuda said during a press conference in Tokyo. "Anyone can take part, regardless of age and sex."

Fast Retailing Co., which operates Uniqlo casual clothing stores, has said it will donate $2 million to the event.

Olympic swimming medalist Takeshi Matsuda (C) attends a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 14, 2023, to promote the first "SpoGOMI" World Cup in November. In 2008, people in Japan turned litter-picking into a sport. (Kyodo)

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