With the world's biggest sporting events less than a year away, organizers on Wednesday celebrated the start of a yearlong countdown to the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach commending the progress Tokyo has made in preparing for the event.

"The preparations are making excellent progress" said IOC President Bach. "I can truly say I have never seen an Olympic city as prepared as Tokyo with one year to go before the Olympic Games."

The executive members of the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, along with guests including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, were among those who gathered at Tokyo International Forum to celebrate the milestone and reflect on the progress made in the planning of the 2020 Games.