Tokyo 2020 Games and Our Efforts | TMC Talks Vol.1

This article is a transcription of a speech given by Koike Yuriko, Governor of Tokyo, at TMC Talks held by the Tokyo Media Center (TMC) on July 24. Watch the full movie here.

Hello everyone. I'm Koike Yuriko, Governor of Tokyo.

Today is the second day of the Games. I would like to talk about the "Tokyo 2020 Games and Our Efforts".

The Olympic flame, after being carried all around Japan, last night lit the torch stand at the Olympic Stadium. The Tokyo 2020 Games, which have been postponed for a year, have just begun. It was a long and winding road, but finally the time has come. I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support of so many people.

It is a great honor for Tokyo to be the host city for the Games for the second time. I hope that 7.8 billion people around the globe will fully enjoy the Games with excitement and enthusiasm.

Now, the world is facing the major challenges of the global spread of COVID-19 and the climate change crisis. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to all those who have suffered losses to COVID-19.

As governor, I also wish to offer my sincere gratitude to all of the world's essential workers and others working tirelessly to defeat the virus.

The concept of yesterday's opening ceremony was "United by Emotion." No matter how far away we are or what different languages and cultures we might have, sports has the power to unite people all over the world through shared emotions.

Indeed, as the world unites to confront the difficulties brought on by COVID-19, it has made me feel that these Games will be a beacon of hope for a better future.

We will do our utmost to realize a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games that will ultimately be a success.

The Games are truly a celebration of athletes. At the Olympic Games, 33 sports and 339 events, the largest number in history, will be held at 42 competition venues.

Even though many venues will be without spectators, I believe that seeing athletes earnestly competing in a variety of sports will bring hope for the future to people all over the world who have been suffering from COVID-19.

We are envisioning the Tokyo 2020 Games as the "Recovery Olympics and Paralympics."

The Olympic Torch relay started at the J-Village in Fukushima, one of the areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.

Last Wednesday, as for the first match of the Olympics, the women's softball game was held in the prefecture.

Have a look at these sunflowers sent by Fukushima prefecture. These flowers are a symbol of the affected areas' recovery.

I think that not only does this serve to lift spirits in the area through the power of sport, but it showcases the strong steps towards recovery. I would like to convey our gratitude to the people of the world for their support and encouragement.

Next, these Games aim for a "sustainable recovery" which I hope to show to the world as a new model for future Olympics and Paralympics. When the pandemic ends and we can start to recover, we will not just return to the status quo. Rather, we will create a sustainable recovery and achieve a better future together.

Among the initiatives we have advanced are the promotion of universal design and the provision of multilingual support to make Tokyo a city where everyone, from senior citizens to foreign nationals and those with impairments, can sense kindness and warmth.

For smooth travel during the Games, we have been advancing "Smooth Biz" encouraging remote work and staggered commuting hours, and implementing traffic demand management.

The medals being awarded to the athletes at these Games were made from metals collected from so-called "urban mines" such as old mobile phones and other electronics donated by people from Japan and abroad. In addition, the medal podiums used at the Games were manufactured from used plastics.

Furthermore, we utilize Tokyo's urban cap-and-trade system to reduce CO2 emissions to zero during the four days of the opening and closing ceremonies.

During the Games, hydrogen produced in Fukushima Prefecture by using renewable energy is used in some of the facilities in the Olympic and Paralympic Village. Fuel cell buses which run on hydrogen are used as a part of the transportation network for members of the media.

Through such efforts, we will show the world a model of a sustainable society.

The Olympic Games bring big changes to the host city.

The 1964 Games in Tokyo gave a high boost to economic growth with the development of infrastructure, including the Metropolitan Expressway and the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train. At the same time, it helped form the foundation of today's sophisticated society.

I expect that these Games will be great opportunities to create a society that balances both maturity and ongoing growth, leaving many legacies that will lay a path to a better future, such as digital technology and the acceleration towards a hydrogen-based society.

Amid the pandemic, the Metropolitan Government formulated the "Future Tokyo: Tokyo's Long-Term Strategy" this March which envisions Tokyo in the future and serves as our compass to firmly guide us on the path to achieve this future.

Tokyo aims to be a "game changer" and not only lead the sustainable development of Japan but also work together with all the people of the world to create a prosperous global society.

To everyone watching and everyone participating, please enjoy the Olympic Games. It is my hope that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be long remembered as the greatest Games ever.

Thank you very much for your attention.

The wording in the article does not necessarily correspond to what was actually said.
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