The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today completed its second official visit to the Japanese capital, citing the Organising Committee’s adherence to key milestones, strong government support and its embrace of Olympic Agenda 2020 as highlights of the visit.
Led by Commission Chair John Coates, the IOC delegation also included Vice-Chair Alex Gilady, a number of IOC Members, and representatives of the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). It noted the excellent work done by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee in implementing Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms into its venue master plan and other aspects of preparations. By making greater use of existing facilities (including those from the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964) and working to ensure that new venues deliver on the needs for the Games and the subsequent legacy, the application of Olympic Agenda 2020 for Tokyo 2020 has already resulted in approximately USD 1.7 billion in savings from the revised construction budget.
Speaking at the close of the meeting, Chairman Coates said: “We have been very pleased to see the continued progress being made by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and its government stakeholders. The project remains on track and has made some significant strides forward, particularly in areas like confirming the venue master plan, bringing on board new commercial partners and creating strong governance structures.” He continued, “The Tokyo organisers have truly embraced Olympic Agenda 2020 in their preparations. It is very reassuring to see the immediate benefits that Tokyo has been able to gain from the different recommendations in terms of organising sustainable Games with a strong legacy. We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that they can fully maximise the benefits of Olympic Agenda 2020.”
Tokyo 2020 Chairman Yoshiro Mori said: “We were delighted to be able to hold a series of extremely productive meetings with the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, Mr John Coates, and all the members of the Coordination Commission. We were also very pleased to receive praise from the members for the progress we have made with our preparations.” He continued, “After next year’s Rio 2016 Games, the world’s focus will be squarely on Tokyo. During the meetings, I became increasingly aware of the need to further step up our preparations and to demonstrate our readiness to take the baton from Rio by ensuring that our own preparations remain firmly on track by the time of the next IOC Coordination Commission meeting. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the IOC and the IPC, and to further ensuring that together we are able to deliver truly inspirational Games.”
The Commission toured the future Olympic sites of Makuhari Messe and Tokyo Bay. Makuhari Messe will host taekwondo, fencing and wrestling, while venues like the Olympic Village, triathlon, marathon swimming, beach volleyball, rowing, canoe-sprint and equestrian-cross country are all situated in the Bay area. Recent changes to the venue master plan mean that more areas of Tokyo will be involved in the hosting of the Olympic Games and legacies will be maximised.
Coates further commented, “I’d also particularly like to thank the International Federations for their excellent work and collaboration with Tokyo 2020 on the venue master plan review. Without their support, we would not have been able to achieve the very positive result that we have for the legacy and sustainability of these Games. This is a very positive sign for the future development of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.”
The Commission was pleased to receive a report that all parties involved in the construction of the new National Stadium are working together to advance the project and ensure that it is delivered in time for the Games.
The visit also provided an opportunity for the Commission to meet the new Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Toshiaki Endo, who was appointed to the post by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 25 June. The IOC delegation wished the new Minister all the best in his role, which will further strengthen collaboration and cooperation among all key stakeholders, including the national and regional governments.
The Coordination Commission noted with satisfaction the continued strong support for the Games from all levels of government. The relationship between the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and local stakeholders remains excellent. The Commission also congratulated Tokyo 2020 for its active engagement with the public, which has resulted in the continuation of the massive public support for the Games seen during the bid phase.
Commercial backing for the Games is robust. Tokyo 2020 has already successfully signed a total of 13 domestic Tier 1 Gold Partners, and two Official Partners since the start of the year. This is a strong indication of the high interest in the Games from the Japanese business community.
An update was also given regarding the sports programme for Tokyo 2020. As part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, organising committees for the Olympic Games can make a proposal for the inclusion of one or more additional events on the Olympic programme for that edition of the Games. Tokyo 2020 recently announced that it has shortlisted eight International Federations for inclusion in 2020 – those governing baseball/softball; bowling; karate; roller sports; sport climbing; squash; surfing; and wushu. Tokyo 2020 will make a decision on the event or events to be proposed to the IOC in September 2015. A final decision will be made by the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.
During its visit, the Coordination Commission heard presentations on a number of topics, including governance, finance, commercial matters, sport and venues, Paralympic Games, athlete preparation, legacy, sustainability, engagement and communications.
The Commission’s third visit to Tokyo is scheduled for May 2016. There is expected to be a total of 10 Commission visits to the 2020 host city over its seven-year lifecycle. These inspections are supplemented by Project Review visits by the Coordination Commission Executive, as the IOC provides guidance and advice to Tokyo 2020 in its Games planning and operations.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.