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7. Accelerate measures for the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Now that the year 2018 has started, we have only two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Games. We are now at the stage of accelerating concrete steps to prepare for the Games through united efforts nationwide. We will rev up preparations, and raise enthusiasm for the Games, as well as for the Rugby World Cup 2019.

Steadily advance Games preparations

Last December, version two of the Games budget was unveiled, with the estimated total cost updated to 1.35 trillion yen. Of that amount, 600 billion yen will be borne by the TMG, and more than 90 percent of that will be secured by building up the Games reserve fund according to the fiscal 2017 supplementary budget plan. Also, we recently announced that the costs of projects related to hosting the Tokyo 2020 Games, including those for making Tokyo a barrier-free city, nurturing and using volunteers, and promoting the attractions of Tokyo and Japan, will total approximately 810 billion yen in four years. This presents the whole picture of the TMG’s investment in the future to further enhance Tokyo’s value. We will continue to press forward to deliver a successful Games and create a great legacy.

Last month, I attended the 2020 Games Top Leaders Meeting with representatives from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the national government, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), and the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) to confirm how preparations have progressed and how we will collaborate with each other at the working level. At the meeting, I briefed other participants on such matters as the status of new permanent venues constructed by the TMG, as well as our efforts to generate momentum for the Games. I also heard from the other organizations about their respective situations, and felt assured that Games preparations are right on track through united efforts across Japan. Volunteers are expected to play a significant role in the delivery of a successful Games together with the people of Tokyo and Japan. The TMG and the organising committee will separately begin recruiting a total of 110,000 volunteers in September. Along with volunteers for the Rugby World Cup, for whom calls will start earlier, we hope many people -- men and women, young and old, and those with or without impairments -- will come forward as volunteers. We will proceed with preparations to firmly establish a culture of volunteerism in Tokyo as a legacy of the Games.

Starting February 1, we have been calling for entries to the Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL, a part of the Tokyo Cultural Program conducted in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games, with unique and unconventional ideas to be selected as core activities of the festival. Through TANDEM Paris-Tokyo 2018, which also started this month in Paris, we will widely promote the cultural attractions of the two cities to the world. We will continue to promote the activities of the cultural program within and outside Japan, and steadily proceed with preparations for the Games as a festival of culture as well.

Further build momentum for the Games

Fuel excitement over both the Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020

At the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, intense competitions are taking place every day. The all-out performances of athletes from around the world greatly move and inspire us. I am cheering on athletes taking part in the Olympic Games, and also those in the Paralympic Games next month, praying that all of them can demonstrate their skills and strengths to the fullest. Near the Games venues, the TMG and the organising committee have jointly opened the Tokyo 2020 JAPAN HOUSE. The facility conveys the attractions of Tokyo and Japan, as well as the ongoing reconstruction of the areas affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, to spectators and reporters from all over the world. We are also setting up live sites for the PyeongChang Games in both central and suburban Tokyo, as well as the prefectures hit by major earthquakes. Through these endeavors, I hope the excitement in PyeongChang will help fuel enthusiasm for Tokyo 2020.

We must not forget to build momentum for the Rugby World Cup, either. Next month, the presale of regular tickets by a drawing will finally start for the residents of the host cities, including Tokyo. Taking this opportunity, we will implement “city dressing” -- decorating our city with light pole banners and street banners to enhance momentum for the event. In the next fiscal year, in close collaboration with the 11 other host cities, the TMG will take further steps for fueling expectations toward this fast approaching global tournament, such as holding countdown events, including those marking 500 days, then one year until the World Cup, as well as conducting a wide range of PR activities through various forms of media.

Strongly support para sports

Tokyo will be able to become an even more mature city and realize a truly inclusive society by having the entire city rally together in strongly cheering on para athletes and making the Paralympic Games a success. Last month, the number of people who have registered for TEAM BEYOND, a project for supporting para sports, broke the 1 million mark. We will continue working to enhance enthusiasm for supporting para sports by such means as expanding opportunities to watch games, as well as effectively communicating information in collaboration with the mass media.

Also, the para sports exchange program between schools for children with special needs and elementary, junior high, and high schools will be expanded in the next fiscal year from boccia to also include sitting volleyball. By doing this, we will further deepen children’s understanding of people with impairments and also, promote para sports.

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