Led by Commission Chair John Coates, the IOC delegation also included Vice-Chair Alex Gilady, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, and Deputy Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi. The group participated in the first IOC Project Review of the Games preparations from 2 to 4 April, when they were updated on progress made since Tokyo’s strong bid saw it elected as the 2020 host city. The executives met with Minister Shimomura of the National Government, Tokyo Governor Masuzoe, and were introduced to members of the new Tokyo 2020 Executive Board, which represents the culture and diversity of Japan. The Commission was particularly pleased to see that a number of athletes and women are on the Board. The delegation also visited a number of the future Olympic venues.
Speaking at the close of the meeting, Chairman Coates said: “Since my last visit to Tokyo with IOC President Thomas Bach in November 2013, Tokyo 2020 has successfully undertaken a number of important steps on its seven-year Olympic journey. The establishment of the Organising Committee, the constitution of its Executive Board, the creation of a high-level advisory committee, and its participation in the Observer Programme for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will all enable Tokyo to face the coming six and a half years with a high level of confidence thanks to this quick start.”
He continued: “We have been very impressed with what we have seen this week during our visit. The current level of planning; the venue layout; the involvement and integration of the Government authorities at all levels; and the experience and diversity of the new Executive Board all leave us confident in Tokyo’s ability to deliver great Games for the athletes in 2020.”
During its visit, the Executive heard presentations on a number of topics, including governance, legacy, sustainability, accommodation, finance, commercial matters, engagement, medical, athlete preparation, venues and infrastructure. The Executive also explained to the Games organisers how the IOC and Tokyo 2020 will work together over the coming six and a half years. In addition, the delegation visited a number of the venue sites, including Yoyogi National Stadium, the Olympic Stadium, Nippon Budokan, Imperial Palace Garden, Tokyo International Forum, Kokugikan Arena, Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo Big Sight, and viewed the sites of all the other future venues of the Tokyo Bay Zone. The venue visit also included a trip to the site of the future Olympic Village, where the delegation was joined by Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, and a number of young Japanese rowers, including Olympian Haruna Sakakibara, who took part in the London 2012 Games.
Tokyo 2020 Chairman Yoshiro Mori said: “We were delighted to welcome the members of the IOC team to Tokyo, and for the opportunity to enter into discussions with them on a variety of themes related to this first Project Review since the inauguration of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We have just completed three days of meetings, and I am very pleased that we were able to hold a range of productive discussions. We now have a much clearer understanding of the direction required for us to take to deliver successful Games.”
He continued: “Along with spending a lot of time covering the finer details of our preparations, it was a very welcome opportunity for the IOC team to get to know the members of our “All Japan” team who have been carefully selected to ensure representation from a broad cross-spectrum of Japanese society. The first visit of the full IOC Coordination Commission to Tokyo is scheduled for this June. We will now work towards implementing the action plan that we have formulated together over the past three days, and we look forward to welcoming the members of the IOC Coordination Commission back to Tokyo this summer.”
The first full IOC Coordination Commission visit to Tokyo will be held from 25 to 27 June 2014. It will be the first of 10 Commission visits to the 2020 host city over its seven-year lifecycle. These visits will be supplemented by Project Review visits by the Coordination Commission Executive, which will be held between the full Commission visits as the IOC helps to guide and advise Tokyo in its Games planning and operations.