Japan’s Prime Minister and Olympian, Taro Aso, launched Tokyo 2016’s presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission by delivering a “passionate” address in English on behalf of the Japanese Government.
Prime Minister Aso spoke of the desire to invite young Olympians from around the world to Tokyo to experience what he felt and learned as a young athlete, and to impart the emotion and vitality of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to youth from every country in the world. He explained how Tokyo has an excellent urban infrastructure with the world’s best transportation networks and accommodation, and is one of the world’s most advanced cities in terms of sports, environment, and public safety.
Aso said, “I have long held the most profound respect for all IOC members for your tireless devotion to building a better, more peaceful world through the promotion of the Olympic Movement. It is a great honour for me to be able to convey messages of welcome and full support to you from the National Government as well as from the people of Japan”.
He added, “we will ensure that whatever needs to be done, will be done. Whatever needs to be built, will be built. Whatever needs to be financed, will be financed. That is our promise, now and in the years leading up to 2016”.
The official welcome was followed by a presentation about Tokyo 2016’s vision, concept and legacy. Tokyo 2016 Executive Board member Tadao Ando explained how Tokyo 2016 will provide a showcase of sustainable legacy for the Olympic Movement, blending 23 existing and 11 new venues in the most compact concept ever, surrounded by water and greenery. He also suggested that the Olympic Stadium serves as a symbol of a host city’s aspirations.
He said, “what the world needs in the next few years is an example of how to confront and solve the problems we all face. Our plans for Tokyo 2016 will provide precisely that. With an Olympic Stadium floating above the sea, surrounded by forest, it will allow people to thing about our Earth, our environment and our children’s future”.
Dr. Kono said, “our Olympian Prime Minister has launched us from the starting blocks and the relay has begun. It is an honour to lead the Tokyo 2016 bid committee with such unwavering support and passion for bringing the world’s greatest sports event to our exciting capital. We’re privileged to have the IOC Evaluation Commission here and we’re doing everything we can to ensure they leave Tokyo with a clear view that this city is the best place to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.
He added, “it’s been a big first day for Tokyo 2016 and we’ve had a chance to explain our strengths in areas such as the environment, transport and accommodation, as well as outline our vision, concept and legacy. I hope the Evaluation Commission were impressed with the major showing of support from all levels of our society, from our inspirational Olympians and Paralympians to our strong Government Ministers and Governor. We’re honoured to have Olympians in our government, including Prime Minister Aso and Secretary of Stat Hashimoto, and I believe it shows the iconic status the word’s finest athletes can have, which the Olympic Movement uses as a force for good in our world”.