(ATR) Organizers of the next two Olympics on Friday signed an agreement to work more closely together to deliver successful Games.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Muto and Beijing 2022 executive vice president Zhang at the signing ceremony (Tokyo 2020)
Leaders from Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 signed the memorandum of understanding at a ceremony in the Chinese capital. Among those attending were Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, Beijing 2022 executive vice president and Beijing vice mayor Zhang Jiandong.
The agreement formalizes and increases the cooperation between the Olympic organising committees, which have held meetings to share knowledge and expertise over the past three years since Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Games.
Signing of the MoU took place during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to China. There he will meet with Chinese head of state Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. It is the first visit by a Japanese leader to China in seven years. Both Abe and Li can be seen in the background of the photo showing the signing of the MoU.
Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 have committed to exchange expertise through the IOC and IPC’s knowledge transfer programs and through an exchange of personnel.
They will also share Games-related experiences in areas such as sustainability, Olympic and Paralympic education and the utilisation of emerging technologies.
The MoU also aims to foster information sharing to promote sport and cultural exchanges between the two countries, while also promoting the Olympic and Paralympic movements in East Asia.
Zhang described the agreement as “a milestone event in the cooperation between our two organizations”.
“Both the Beijing 2022 Games and the Tokyo 2020 Games provide unique opportunities for promoting cultural exchanges and friendship between the peoples of China and Japan,” he said.
“Japan has hosted one edition of the summer Olympic Games and two editions of the Olympic winter Games, and is now preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games. You have much experience we shall learn from.
“We are also willing to share with our Japanese colleagues our experience from hosting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and our preparations for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”
Tokyo 2020 CEO Muto said the MoU would offer significant benefits in the organising of the Games in Asia.
“Based on this MoU, we will promote the exchange of knowledge between the two organisations as well as contribute to promotion of cultural exchange, and we will proceed steadily on our preparations for a successful delivery of the Games,” he said.
The next significant milestone for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 is the ANOC general assembly in the Japanese capital in November where they will update the world's Olympic committees on Games preparations.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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