Press Release: Tokyo 2016 Helps Revive Japanese Society
Tokyo, 17 November 2008 – A major Tokyo 2016 Symposium – ‘Get Fit Japan’ – came to a successful close on 14 November after inspiring an audience of hundreds of people with the vision and concept of Tokyo 2016.
Staged at the Izumi Garden Gallery in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, the event is one of many initiatives Tokyo 2016 is organising to increase public understanding of the impact the Games will have on people worldwide, not only in Japan.
It was the biggest meeting in more than 30 communities, ranging from large cities to small towns, that Tokyo 2016 has held nationwide so far. During the event, an inspirational speech was given by world-renowned architect and member of the Tokyo 2016 Grand Design team, Tadao Ando. Tadao Ando – also Chairman of the Tokyo Sea Forest Project, a richly landscaped landfill island in Tokyo Bay which by 2016 will feature an 88-hectare forest – shared the ‘Vision of Tokyo 2016 to carve out a new future’ by encouraging citizens of Japan to support the Bid.
He also told the audience of the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee’s plans to deliver the most compact and sustainable Games in history, and an incredible sporting and architectural legacy.
To achieve this goal, the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee is currently working hand-in-hand with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to implement ‘Tokyo’s Big Change’ for the world’s greatest urban and environmental transformation, which will see the creation of a model Olympic city.
Tokyo has already experienced the hugely positive impact of an Olympic and Paralympic Games through the 1964 Games, which left an enduring economic, social and sporting legacy for Japan.
Tadao Ando said:
“Tokyo offers good environmental quality, high security, convenient transportation, and remarkable cleanliness. The city has leveraged its 1964 Olympic legacy and works to conserve resources. As a result of efforts such as the Sea Forest Project, the conversion of elementary school playgrounds to
grass and the expansion of roadside trees from 480,000 to one million, I sincerely hope to see the 2016 Olympic Games realised against the backdrop of Tokyo’s beautiful scenery.”
A panel discussion on the rationale behind the Tokyo 2016 Bid and the long-term benefits of the Games for Japan’s economy and environment followed Tadao Ando’s speech. Joining Tokyo 2016 Chairman and CEO Dr Ichiro Kono on the panel were Haruo Shimada, President of Chiba University
of Commerce; Takejiro Sueyoshi, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Special Counsel; Hiroshi Takeuchi, executive board member of the Japan Olympic Committee; and Wakako Yuki, a journalist who specialises in the Olympic Games.
Creating a deeper understanding of the Olympic Movement and athletes needs, Tadao Ando and the panel shared the key Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect with an audience that was keenly interested in Tokyo 2016’s innovative plans.
Takejiro Sueyoshi said:
“Global warming has become a critical issue that major cities must address. Reflecting Tokyo’s active development of environmental countermeasures, the Tokyo 2016 Bid [is a sustainable plan that] will mesh perfectly with these efforts.”
Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016 commented:
“Our distinguished panel has provided us with further insight into the value of holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The theme of the event was ‘Get Fit Japan’, but a healthy lifestyle is not just about physical fitness. The inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games can be beneficial not only to people’s physical fitness, but also to their happiness. Tokyo 2016 will lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle for millions of people young and
old, who will be united by the power of the Olympic spirit. Only by hosting the world’s greatest event in the very heart of our vibrant capital can this be achieved.
“Japan has a profound understanding of the impact that the Olympic and Paralympic Games can have by igniting economic growth, stimulating social cohesion and bringing people together. The legacy of the 1964 Tokyo Games lives on in Japan, and by hosting the world’s greatest sporting event in 2016, future generations will be able to enjoy a new golden era that will benefit Tokyo, Japan and the whole Olympic Movement.”
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