The Olympic Flag today landed at Tokyo's Haneda airport, after having travelled more than 18,000 km between the Olympic city of Rio and the Japanese capital. The flag was handed over by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike at the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Games on August 21st at the Maracanã Stadium.
The arrival of the flag in Tokyo was marked with a ceremony attended by Governor Koike, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee CEO Toshiro Muto, the Japanese Olympic Team Captain Saori Yoshida and the flagbearer, decathlete Keisuke Ushiro, many of them visibly proud and delighted to see this Olympic symbol in their homeland.
Governor Koike commented, I am delighted to have the honour of bringing the Olympic Flag to Tokyo for a second time. I would like to express my sincere admiration and respect to all those who have been involved in preparations for the 2020 Games to date. Together with all of you, I am looking forward to delivering a truly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
The Olympic flag's journey from Rio to Tokyo completed the transition between the two Olympic Host Cities. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is working at full speed and is committed to delivering, in less than four years' time, successful Games that will reinforce the Olympic Movement and inspire the world with Olympic values.
Over the coming year, the Olympic flag will be exhibited in more than 62 sites around Tokyo and in the three prefectures affected by the 2011 East Japan earthquake, to further reinforce the momentum of support for the Games gained in Japan during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto commented, The support of fans in Japan during the Rio 2016 Games was really impressive. From now, as the hosts of the next Summer Olympics, we aim to generate real passion for the Games, doing everything possible to inspire the world's youth and successfully stage the world's greatest sporting event in the heart of Tokyo."