• Kyodo


Organizers and official partners of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games put up decorations in parts of the city and held events at Haneda airport Tuesday, one day before Japan starts the one-year countdown to the opening of the games.

In a project dubbed “Nihonbashi City Dressing,” Olympic organizers and major real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan Co. decorated the streets of the business and commercial district with flags, curtains and massive posters of the Olympic logo and athletes expected to compete in the games.

Pieces of art depicting swimmers and the Olympic rings were installed on street corners, while giant posters of promising Japanese athletes, including climber Miho Nonaka, were splashed across glass windows of businesses.

Electronic billboards also played promotional videos of the games.

The decorations, which will stay up until Aug. 25, aim to build excitement by turning the entire area into a model of a giant stadium. Decorations around the Olympic venue and throughout the city are expected to start around spring next year.

“These decorations are good. I’m getting more and more excited for the start of the Olympics,” said a 76-year-old man who was in the area with his young grandchild.

But a 40-year-old designer had a different take on the decorations. “It’s destroyed the city landscape a little bit,” she said.

Meanwhile, Japan Airlines Co. unveiled at Haneda airport the new uniforms that cabin crew, pilots and ground staff will sport from April.

The cabin crew’s uniform, designed by creative director Yasutoshi Ezumi, will feature balloon sleeves.

The carrier also announced plans to upgrade self-check-in kiosks and other facilities at Haneda and other major domestic airports from summer 2020 to create a smoother traveling experience during the Olympics.

Attendees at Tuesday’s event included high jumper Naoto Tobe and 100-meter sprinter Anna Doi, amongst other top Olympic contenders belonging to the JAL club. Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots Miraitowa and Someity also made an appearance.

All Nippon Airways Co. also held an event at Haneda. Actress Haruka Ayase, who has starred in the carrier’s commercials, and others banded together to form the number “2020.”

The Olympics will kick off July 24 next year, with the Paralympics following Aug. 25. JAL and ANA, both official partners of the games, have been flying aircraft with special Olympic designs in anticipation of the event.

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