POSTED: Monday November 17th 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tokyo 2016 Helps Revive Japanese Society
Tokyo 2016 will lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle for millions of people
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
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
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