We all recall the joy and excitement when the decision was announced in Buenos Aires by the International Olympic Committee that Japan would host the 2020 Olympics (July 24 to Aug. 9) and Paralympics (Aug. 25 to Sept. 6). I also remember acknowledging that much planning and preparation would be required to meet the challenges that staging the games in the heat of summer would present.
Upon my return from Argentina, I was asked by the Prime Minister’s Office to lead the national government’s preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Initially, my primary concern was Tokyo’s summer heat and humidity that would impact all participants — athletes, staff and spectators. This challenge would call on the best of Japanese expertise, innovation and imagination to bring out the best in the athletes competing in very challenging conditions. It would also showcase the determination and methods of the world-famous Japanese management and production styles.