IOC officials praise Tokyo’s initial preparations for 2020 Olympics

Kyodo

The International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission is pleased with the efforts of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics organizing committee so far, Commission Chairman John Coates said Friday following a three-day visit to Tokyo.

The visit represented the first working-level talks between the coordination commission, which will monitor and assist Tokyo’s organization of the games leading up to 2020, and the organizing committee.

“We’re very, very impressed and very pleased with the progress to date, and look forward to working with Tokyo 2020 in what, so far as I’m concerned, is a partnership,” Coates said in Tokyo in concluding the visit.

Coates, who is also IOC vice president, and other IOC officials joined members of Tokyo’s organizing committee for a two-day tour of existing venues and sites marked out for new venue construction, and held initial talks on financing, board, local engagement, athletes’ preparation and security.

Coates said he is satisfied revenue streams to cover the roughly $3.4 billion candidature file budget are “realistic and achievable,” with potential for even more funding to come through marketing.

Tokyo Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori, who led the tour, said he received valuable advice from Coates, with whom he has developed a “brotherly relationship.”

“Team Coates and Team Mori are on the same boat for the next six years, and will continue to row in the direction of ‘Sport for Tomorrow’ as advocated by the Japanese government,” Mori said.

“We have committed ourselves to bringing the games to a successful conclusion through cooperation with each other.”

Coates said although his team gave the local panel several suggestions, the two sides basically agree on how to prepare for the games.

“At this stage I don’t see any challenges — what I see is opportunities in terms of the legacies that can be left in encouraging more Japanese to participate in sport,” he said.