IOC Evaluation Commission Visit - Day1 : Tokyo Promises Early Delivery of 2020 Games Full of 'Extras'

Tokyo, 4 March 2013 - With a clear message that the Japanese Government is absolutely committed to hosting the 2020 Games in Japan's capital, Tokyo 2020 kicked-off the first of four days of presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission in Tokyo today. Led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the opening-day delegation included Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose, athletes and senior Tokyo 2020 Bid Officials. All stressed Japan's unequivocal commitment to bringing the 2020 Games to the heart of Tokyo, and highlighted the celebratory atmosphere the Games in Tokyo would deliver, as well as Japan's long-proven ability to flawlessly host international mega-events.

Prime Minister Abe said that: "to host the Games in Tokyo is my life-long dream." Commenting on infrastructure, he added Tokyo's "preparedness is second to none."

His welcoming remarks were followed by a convincing presentation on Tokyo 2020's combination of vision, concept and legacy. Tokyo's senior delegation presentations to the 14-member panel were conducted by IOC Member and President of both Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Tsunekazu Takeda, Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno, Governor Inose, and Tokyo 2020 Bid Ambassador and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa.

Takeda said: "We have come together with the full backing of all levels of government, the participation of Japan's Olympians and Paralympians, the robust sponsorship of the business community and, of course, passionate support from sports fans throughout the nation. Such cohesiveness reflects Japan's desire to host the Games. We're delighted to have this opportunity to convince the esteemed members of the IOC Evaluation Commission that Tokyo is unquestionably the best city to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Tokyo Governor Inose shared the lessons he learned in person when he attended the highly successful London 2012 Games, and he pointed out the many similarities which London and Tokyo share as trendsetting global cities. He underscored Tokyo's unmatched ability to deliver based on its rock-solid financial stability, as well as its guaranteed 4.5 billion USD Games Hosting Fund. Governor Inose also told the Commission about Tokyo's superb railway networks, which carry an impressive 26 million passenger trips daily.

Homare Sawa, a four-time Olympian and a true Japanese national hero, explained that she had enjoyed London 2012 from an athlete's perspective in terms of its excellent accommodation, logistics and venues, all of which Tokyo 2020 aims to meet or exceed. She noted that athletes are at the centre of Tokyo 2020's Games plan, which features an ultra-compact, ultra-convenient layout that places 28 out of 33 Tokyo venues within an 8km radius.

The Paralympic Games have special significance for Japan, a country with a long and rich history of staging major events for disability sport. Following the Tokyo 1964 Games, for example, Japan launched the now-annual National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities. More recently, the Asian Youth Paralympic Games was held in Tokyo in 2009 and the Japan Para Games also has become a much-anticipated annual event.

Shingo Kunieda, a three-time Paralympic gold medallist in wheelchair tennis and a key participant in planning Tokyo 2020's Paralympic Games, said: "It was a true pleasure to present to the Evaluation Commission on behalf of the Paralympic community. Japanese fans are passionate about sport, including Paralympic sport. Tokyo 2020's highly compact venue plan will facilitate a dynamic Paralympic atmosphere in the heart of the city."
Prime Minister Abe Conference Tsunekazu Takeda, Naoki Inose and young athletes