2020 Olympics organizing committee launched

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

The Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched the organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Friday with former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori as its head to start preparation in full swing.

“We start preparations for the success of the 2020 Games under the leadership of President Mori with ‘all-Japan’ efforts,” JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda told reporters Friday evening at the metropolitan government building.

The committee is in charge of preparations and overall management of the Summer Games, including the competitions, the opening and closing ceremonies, the facilities and transportation, according to Takeda.

Mori, who was appointed president of the committee, said he was glad to announce the launch, but also felt a strong sense of responsibility, considering the large role the organization carries.

“We have to work hard together to accomplish our vision to contribute to the sports sector in the world by appealing to the power and the value of sports, which we promoted at the International Olympic Committee’s general assembly in Buenos Aires (in September),” Mori said.

Former vice finance minister Toshiro Muto, who took the post of chief executive officer of the organizing committee, noted that the secretariat starts with about 50 staffers and the number will increase to 3,000 with 80,000 volunteers in six years.

Muto said the committee needs to set up concrete and clear goals, including finding sponsors and ticket sales, to share with concerned parties for the success of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The members of the organizing committee and metro government officials will take part in an inspection program on the Sochi Winter Olympics, which starts Feb. 7, according to Muto.

Education minister Hakubun Shimomura, who doubles as minister in charge of the 2020 Olympics, Mitsunori Torihara, president of the Japan Paralympic Committee and Tokyo Vice Gov. Toshiyuki Akiyama were also at the news conference. They are the members of the coordination council along with Takeda and Mori that was also set up Friday to coordinate important issues in preparing for and holding the Olympics and Paralympics.

The budget of the organizing committee is estimated at ¥301.3 billion, according to the candidature file submitted by the bid committee to the IOC last year.

The organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was scheduled to be set up within five months after the capital was picked to be the host at the IOC’s general assembly in Buenos Aires in September.