Korea and Japan issue World Cup stamps

Edited Extract from:
LINN's Stamp News, July 2, 2001, edition; page 20.

World of New Issues, by Denise McCarty

Korea and Japan will jointly host the 2002 World Cup Soccer championship from May 31 to June 20, 2002.

This will be the first time that the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) event will be held in Asia as well as the first time it will be hosted by two countries.

Both South Korea and Japan issued stamps May 31 promoting the upcoming tournament.

The United States flag is featured on one of the five new South Korean FIFA World Cup stamps.

The Korean stamps honor previous World Cup Soccer championships. The design of each stamp includes the year of the championship, part of the host country’s flag, a scene from that country and Korean players in action.

The United States hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994. Brazil won the cup for the fourth time that year, beating Italy 3-2.

The other stamps commemorate the World Cups of 1954 hosted by Switzerland, 1986 by Mexico, 1990 by Italy and 1998 by France. The Roman Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower, respectively, are pictured on the 1990 and 1998 stamps.

Each of the five stamps is denominated 170 won. They were designed by Sung-Am Kim and printed by Korea Minting and Security Printing Corp. in panes of 20.

In addition, South Korea released five souvenir sheets May 31. Each souvenir sheet contains two stamps.

Japan’s three 2002 FIFA World Cup stamps are semi­postals, each denominated 80-yen+l0y. The designs depict the Spherics, the three mascots of championship.

The Spherics symbolize energy particles in the atmosphere. They were created by a London computer animation firm, Interbrand Co.

McDonald’s sponsored a contest to name the three mascots, and more than 10,000 people from Japan, Korea and other countries participated.

The results were announced April 26. The name Ato was selected for the coach figure, which is yellow. The purple Spheric is Kaz, and the blue one is Nik.

One Japanese semipostal pictures all three of the mascots with Ato holding a soccer ball. According to Japan’s philatelic bureau, this design represents teamwork.

The other two stamps are se-tenant (side-by-side) with Kaz on one stamp and Nik on the other. This pair is supposed to symbolize fair play.

Motoharu Morita designed the stamps. The Japanese Ministry of Finance Stamp Printing Office produced 15 million of the Teamwork stamps, and 7.5 million each of the Fair Play pair in panes of 10.

The address of the South Korean bureau is Seoul Central Post Office, Korean Philatelic Center, CPO Box 5122, Seoul. 100-011, South Korea.

The addresses of Japan's bureau and its new-issue agency in the United Statcs are: Tokyo Central Post Office, Pbilatelic Section, CPO Box 888, Tokyo, 100-8692, Japan; lnterpost, Box 378, Malverne, NY 11565.