In order to get people in Japan more excited about the Torch Relay, Olympian Tadahiro Nomura, Paralympian Aki Taguchi, actress Satomi Ishihara and comedic duo Sandwichman have been appointed as Official Ambassadors of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay.
Meet the Ambassadors
Comedy duo from Miyagi Prefecture
Date and Tomizawa went to the same local high school and formed a duo in 1998 after graduating. They won the 2007 'M-1 Grand Prix' and came second in the King of Comedy 2009 competition. They are very popular on TV, radio and through their appearances in live events and various activities. Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, they have been active in supporting the reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region, their home ground.
Actress from Tokyo
Made her debut in 2003 in the film 'Watashi no Guranpa [My Grandpa]'. Starred in many TV dramas, films and theatrical productions. Travelled to Africa for a film and since then Ishihara returned three years in a row, reporting on issues in the continent through various TV programmes. As the 'charity personality' for the telethon charity programme '24-Hour Television' in 2017, Ishihara was highly commended for her honest and sincere approach to reporting.
Paralympian from Osaka
Competed in three consecutive Games in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as a Paralympic shooter. Taguchi currently serves on the Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Committee and the Emblem Selection Committee. Taguchi is engaged in activities to promote an all-inclusive society through the promotion and support of Para sport.
Olympian from Nara Prefecture
Gold medalist in the men’s judo 60kg category in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, Nomura became the first judo athlete and the first Asian athlete in any sport to win the Olympic gold medal at three consecutive Games. After his retirement, Nomura has been devoted to promoting judo both at home and abroad. He is also a member of the selection panel of the Tokyo 2020 Games medal design competition.
Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors
The Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors who will be building excitement for the Torch Relay from the International Space Station (ISS).
Born in 1968 in Tokyo. In 2008, he flew to the ISS on the STS-124 mission and installed Japan's KIBO pressurised module. In 2012, he stayed on the ISS as a flight engineer for the 32/33 mission expedition, conducting scientific experiments in the KIBO module and other parts of the ISS, while also undertaking three extravehicular activity excursions.
Born in 1965 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. In 2005, Noguchi joined a mission with the space shuttle Discovery during which the shuttle docked with the International Space Station and he conducted three extravehicular activities as a lead spacewalker. In 2009 he was launched to the ISS aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. He spent five-and-a-half months aboard the ISS as a flight engineer for the 22/23 mission expedition and operated the robotic arm of Japan's KIBO module, as well as conducting scientific experiments.