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20 Oct 2006
IOC Events

IOC President starts Asian trip in Japan

IOC President Jacques Rogge today concluded a two-day visit to Tokyo, before flying to Beijing where he will attend the 5th World Forum on Culture and Education.
During his fourth visit to Japan since his election in 2001, President Rogge met with their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the presence of IOC Vice-President Chiharu Igaya, IOC Member Shun-Ichiro Okano, and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda. On both occasions, the IOC President praised the important role that Japan, its National Olympic Committee and its athletes play within the Olympic Movement.
The importance of Japanese sport
Japan is one of the six nations in the world which have successfully organised three editions of the Olympic Games (Tokyo 1964, Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998) and Tokyo has recently announced that it would bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.
During his trip, the IOC President often referred to the great contribution that Japanese sport has made to the Olympic Movement, mentioning the early influence that Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, had on Pierre de Coubertin’s philosophy. Today, Japan has not only demonstrated its ability to successfully stage key sporting events, but it also has excellent athletes who distinguished themselves in Athens, reaching the 5th place in the medal tally. This success is due mainly to the tremendous efforts made by the Japanese Olympic Committee to provide state-of-the-art training facilities to a young generation of athletes.
Note to Editors and BroadcastersB-roll of the President's visit in Japan is available for broadcasters to download from the IOC’s News Room (
The success of Japanese athletes and the importance of education were widely discussed during the President’s meeting with the Executive Board of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The President praised the work of the NOC and of its dynamic President Tsunekazu Takeda in promoting sport among young people. In his address to the board, Rogge said: “The Japanese Olympic Committee has understood that, through sport, we can teach young people values that are important not only to build their inner character but also to shape the communities in which they live. In today’s society, it is more and more obvious that sport has an important place and role and can highly contribute to the wellbeing of young people who often lack references and directions in their lives. Sport teaches fundamental values such as respect, excellence and friendship, and brings health, joy and a dream to young generations”.
Meeting with the corporate world
 Part of the President’s visit to Tokyo was dedicated to visiting TOP partner Panasonic, Olympic supplier Mizuno and Dentsu, which have also been long-time supporters of the Olympic Games, and to kick off, with IOC Executive Board Member Richard Carrión, initial discussions for TV rights negotiations for 2010 and 2012.
The Japanese people are known for their great enthusiasm and passion for the Olympic Games. In Athens, Japan’s TV coverage was twice that of Sydney, with over 700 hours dedicated to the Games. Each individual watched a staggering 29 hours of coverage as the team finished fifth in the overall standings, ten places higher then four years previously. The Japanese market is very dynamic, and by initiating discussions with the key local networks, the IOC wants to continue to ensure that the Games are seen by the widest audience possible free of charge on TV, but also to look at new platforms and ways for Japanese people to experience the Games.
Talking to the Japan National Press Club
During his trip, the IOC President talked to the Japanese media, addressing issues ranging from Tokyo’s interest in bidding for the 2016 Games to the chances for the two Koreas to compete as a unified team at the Beijing Games next year.
Before leaving Tokyo, the President travelled to Tsukuba, where he was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa degree by the city’s well known university.
Note to Editors and Broadcasters
B-roll of the President's visit in Japan is available for broadcasters to download from the IOC’s News Room (
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