Tokyo is one of the Candidate Cities vying to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Japanese government views the hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics as a wonderful opportunity to further enhance its friendships with countries and increase national interest in sports. MEXT, in close collaboration with the city of Tokyo, the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) is providing invaluable assistance towards winning the rights to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission visited Tokyo for four days during 4-7 March to inspect Tokyo’s detailed plans for the 2020 Games.

IOC Visit Day 1 (Monday, 4 March)

The first day began with an official welcome event attended by government representatives including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura.

Welcome speeches were given by the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose as representatives of Tokyo 2020. Prime Minister Abe stressed the government’s enthusiasm to host the 2020 Games and sang a verse from the theme song used at the Tokyo 1964 Olympics.
The welcome event was followed by a presentation titled “Vision Concept Legacy”. The event was attended by London Games Women’s football medalist Homare Sawa. There she emphasized how Tokyo’s plans for the 2020 Games will provide the ultimate stage for athletes to compete in. After the presentation, the IOC Evaluation Commission visited the proposed venues and sites.

IOC Visit Day 2 (Tuesday, 5 March)

The second day of the presentation focused on finance. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato offered explanations on the topic and answered questions by the IOC Evaluation Commission. Suga spoke on Japan’s strong economy and the government’s financial security. In addition, MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura and MEXT Vice Minister Teru Fukui provided explanations on government and public support, along with legal issues. The MEXT Minister spoke on the government’s unilateral support – made possible through the Basic Sports Act which was enacted in 2011.

On the theme of marketing, Chairman of Toyota Motor Fujio Cho spoke on behalf of the business community and explained the potential of domestic sponsorships and the scope and size of the Japanese market.

After the presentations, the IOC Evaluation Commission visited sites centered on the legacies of the 1964 Olympic Games including the National Stadium in Kasumigaoka and the Nippon Budokan.

IOC Visit Day 3 (Wednesday, 6 March)

The third day of the presentation focused on accommodation, transport capacity and media preparations, which was followed by site visits. In the evening, a dinner event hosted by Prime Minister Abe was held at the Akasaka Palace State Guesthouse to officially welcome the Commission. The dinner event was attended by Princess Takamado, Tokyo Metropolitan Office officials, Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee members, along with government representatives including Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura, and Minister of State for Special Missions Masako Mori. Representatives from various business sectors, London Olympic and Paralympic medalists, and 1964 Olympic gold medalist Takashi Ono also attended, all whom fostered their relations with the IOC Evaluation Committee.

IOC Visit Day 4 (Thursday, 7 March)

The presentation on the final day centered on environment, security and medical facilities. At the press conference held afterwards, the IOC Evaluation Commission Chairman Craig Reedie commented they were hugely impressed by the quality of the presentations and were able to confirm the unequivocal strong support by the government, business and the public. The evaluators also commented on the great enthusiasm they felt when meetings the many athletes. At the subsequent Tokyo 2020 press conference, Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose and MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura all spoke on their impressions of the IOC Evaluation Commission.

The IOC Evaluation Committee will complete an assessment report in July based on the results of the on-site investigations in Madrid and Istanbul along with Tokyo.

Tokyo’s approval rate rises to 70 percent

The IOC Evaluation Commission revealed during their visit that the approval ratings for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for Tokyo citizens was 70 percent and 67 percent for the entire country. This increase from 47 percent from when the survey was last conducted in May 2012 is attributed to the successful performances by Japanese athletes at the London Games, along with the promotional activities by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee.

Establishment of a ministerial conference and Diet Resolution

On 1 March, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a ministerial conference related to Tokyo hosting the 32nd Olympic and 16th Paralympic Games was arranged, and the first meeting was immediately held.

The Diet also enacted a resolution for the second time to work towards winning the race through the combined efforts of the government and the Diet - on 4 March in the Lower House, and on 5 March in the Upper House.
The Tokyo metropolitan government, the central government along with the business and sports communities will continue to work together towards realising the Tokyo 2020 Games right up until the IOC general assembly in September (Buenos Aires, Argentina).


(Sports and Youth Bureau, Competitive Sports Division)

(Sports and Youth Bureau, Competitive Sports Division)