With the start of the 100-day countdown to the Rugby World Cup 2019TM on the 12th next week, we will hold a commemorative event on the 16th. Also, we have opened a center in Yurakucho to make information on rugby available to everyone at anytime, holding various events there through the end of August. We will roll out publicity in various other areas of Tokyo as well, raising banners in the shopping streets, decorating trains, and putting up wall galleries, among others, to boost enthusiasm for the fast-approaching tournament.
During the tournament period, we will set up “Fan Zones” in Yurakucho and Chofu to serve as places where rugby fans from within and outside Japan can share in the “rugby fever” and enjoy the matches. In April, we released a draft of the concrete operation plans for the fan zones. We will work on making the fan zones a place where special memories will be created for all visitors through hands-on rugby experiences, various exchanges, and other events.
Furthermore, we will fully prepare for the successful delivery of the Rugby World Cup by taking such measures as providing smooth transport of spectators and securing a security system to prevent trouble from occurring, which will boost our final preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Tokyo 2020.
Preparations of the Tokyo 2020 Games venues, where exciting matches will take place, are advancing steadily with, among others, the opening ceremony for the Sea Forest Waterway to be held this month. Regarding Ariake Arena, which will be adopting a concession system -- the first for an arena facility within Japan -- we have presented a proposal at this regular session to provide operation rights to a private operator. While harnessing the power of the private sector, we will continue to effectively use this venue into the future as a valuable asset of our residents and the citizens of Japan.
It will soon be one year before the Games, and preparations for the intangible aspects have moved from the planning to implementation stage. Starting from the end of the month, we will use the test events held at the venues to advance concrete trials to ensure safety and heat countermeasures around the venues, management of City Cast volunteers, and more. Last week we held a kick-off event for Smooth Biz, an initiative that combines teleworking, Jisa Biz (flextime), and travel demand management (TDM) to ease traffic congestion, an important challenge to address for the smooth operation of the Games. We plan to work with businesses and other entities to accelerate this movement. In particular, since next month and the month after that correspond to the Tokyo 2020 Games period, by positioning this as a period for concentrated efforts as if during the Games, the TMG will carry out telework and Jisa Biz, curb the use of TMG vehicles, make efforts for zero delivery of office equipment and supplies, and more. I ask companies and other organizations once again for their cooperation with these prioritized initiatives. Regarding the Shuto Expressway, other than conducting tests for regulating traffic inflow at entrances and tollbooths, we will work with the national government and others to study additional measures including raising tolls. To achieve a balance between safe and effective Games transportation and economic and urban activities, we will advance preparations while continuing to work closely with related organizations in this way.
As we work to ensure the safety and security of the Games as a whole, we recently revised the guidelines on countermeasures that were formulated last March. We have further clarified concrete responses for possible situations from the four perspectives of measures for public safety, cybersecurity, disasters, and infectious diseases, by, among others, reflecting the results of drills carried out last fiscal year and expert opinions. While continuing to verify measures at this summer’s test events and also utilizing the experience gained from holding the Rugby World Cup™ matches, we will do all possible to ensure the safety and security of the Games.
Last month, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Official Ticket Website accepted applications for the Ticket Lottery and in the summer, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Tickets sales are scheduled to start. Last week, the outline of the Torch Relay route, which marks the start of the Games, was announced. As we bring the Games closer to the citizens of Tokyo and all of Japan, we will take opportunities such as this summer’s 1 Year to Go! events for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to further raise enthusiasm for the Games.
Fukushima Prefecture will be the starting point for the Torch Relay. Moreover, before the Relay, the flame will be displayed as the Flame of Recovery in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima prefectures. While again keeping in mind that the original concept of the Tokyo 2020 Games is that of a recovery Games, we will advance initiatives to further support recovery such as holding live sites at the three Tohoku prefectures and Kumamoto prefecture and inviting children from the disaster-stricken areas to view the Games. Within our efforts to raise excitement for the Tokyo 2020 Games, especially the Paralympic Games, we have been actively spreading their appeal. I have personally tried my hand at all 22 sports. Building on these efforts, we recently established a panel of academics and experts, para-athletes, and prominent figures from various fields to help ensure the success of the Paralympics and make our city more barrier-free as a true legacy of the Games. By having the members send powerful messages in support of parasports and provide advice for barrier-free measures, we will not only raise expectations for the Paralympics, but will also use the Games as an opportunity to further accelerate accessibility. Moreover the actual clubs that will be used in the club throw, a Paralympic athletics event, will be made by students of Tokyo Metropolitan Kogei High School’s part-time course. I am certain that this initiative, which is being promoted by the Board of Education and the Organising Committee, will not only leave those students with an unforgettable legacy, but also further spread understanding of parasports. We will continue to widely spread the appeal of parasports through a variety of initiatives to have the Paralympic venue seats packed full with spectators next year.