Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike, center right, wheelchair badminton athlete Sakina Satomi, front, right, Minister in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Shunichi Suzuki, left, pose for a photo during the countdown event to mark two years to go until the start of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Saturday. Photo: AP/Koiji Sasahara

Tokyo marks 2 years to go until 2020 Paralympic Games


A “2 Years to Go” countdown ceremony hosted jointly by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was held Saturday at MEGA WEB, a theme park in the Tokyo Bay zone where many Paralympic games events are scheduled to be held in 2020.

Thousands of people participated in a variety of events at the ceremony, many taking the chance to try out various Paralympic sports such as boccia, wheelchair basketball, football 5-a-side and sitting volleyball. Many of the booths attracted children, families and others interested in Paralympic sports and in getting involved in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The countdown ceremony was attended by Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike, a number of Paralympic athletes and medalists, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic mascot Someity and Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascot Miraitowa. They were joined by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Special Ambassador toward the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Shingo Katori.

The Paralympic athletes joining the ceremony included badminton player Sarina Satomi, canoeist Makoto Koyama, cyclist Shota Kawamoto, goalball player Yuki Tenma, rower Daisuke Maeda and shooting Paralympian Aki Taguchi.

Canoeist Makoto Koyama said, "I want to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sporting my best smile! I'm going to cherish every single race over the next two years, and hope I'll be able to perform at my best in 2020."

The Paralympic mascot Someity, who loves nature and whose name was taken from a popular variety of cherry blossom, unveiled a giant flower arrangement on the stage. In the shape of the number two, symbolising the number of years until the commencement of the Games, the arrangement was created with a variety of flowers symbolising the core Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality, as well as the English phrase “so mighty”, representing the trait in Someity’s character that helped inspire its name.

IPC President Andrew Parsons outlined his expectations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in a video address, commenting, “Today marks 2 years to go to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. I have no doubt these will be an exciting Games, a technological Games and an engaging Games. Japan will demonstrate its omotenashi, traditional Japanese hospitality, and you will help to bring the whole world together. I have no doubt that in the Opening Ceremony, I will be able to say that these are probably the best Paralympic Games ever.”

The area adjoining the stage, named the “Dream Plaza”, was decorated with ornamental flower beds depicting the Paralympic symbol “three Agitos” in red, blue and green. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building and 12 other buildings around Tokyo were also lit up in the colors of “three Agitos”, illuminating the night sky in celebration of the anniversary.

© Japan Today

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Northeast Asia can show leading technologies in AI, .. high speed trains...

Japan has long passed such a developing country mentality in 1964. The world already knows Japan. Japan has nothing to prove.

For China, nothing will impress the world until it gets out of the dark age of dictatorship.

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Don't forget, a lot of the time was also wasted in drawing up a new logo after all the plagiarism debacle.

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expatToday  10:43 am JST

“Why? No other country. particularly one that is so far behind in building the necessary infrastructure, starts a "countdown" 2 years in advance. Totally premature.”

Not true. Just one example, a Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Countdown Clock, was unveiled, in 2013, five years before.

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socrateos, the Olympics is actually more than a game. Northeast Asia can show leading technologies in AI, autonomous cars, UHD 8K, 5G, robotics, high speed trains, super computing, in addition to delicious foods, beautiful arts, rich culture, and politeness.

Mascots is stupid idea, too childish, has no Northeast Asian values.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And the temperature in Tokyo has hardly dropped below 35 degrees all this month.

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 It is time to show the strength of Northeast Asia...

It's just a sport event and Japan has nothing to prove.

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Why? No other country. particularly one that is so far behind in building the necessary infrastructure, starts a "countdown" 2 years in advance.

Sure they do - you probably just wouldn't have read it if you weren't living in the country where they were happening, two years before they started. Anyone putting on major events has a countdown going on right from when planning starts, until the event starts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why? No other country. particularly one that is so far behind in building the necessary infrastructure, starts a "countdown" 2 years in advance. Totally premature.

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Ganbare Japan: "Where did all the time go, since PM Abe famous celebration when Japan won the Olympics?"

It went to covering all the lies he told to secure them, like that Fukushima was under control, the games would be cheap and compact, and the weather is "mild and perfect for athletes", and that it would be beneficial to the "only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks" and to "helping the victims of the Tohoku disasters", you know, since you can't bilk suffering and disasters enough before turning your back on them once you've succeeded.

Dango bong: "The mascots are ridiculous and can't pronounce their names"


6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mascots designed by committee of children with meaningless names and childish eyes.

Yeah, two years to get ready even though every two years all the Tokyo Met. staff are rotated out of the planning staff so now there is no one in charge who understands a thing. Hope the best employees were saved for the final rotation. And, no, Akie, we in Tokyo do not "like" the heatwaves. I fear for the summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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The mascots are ridiculous and can't pronounce their names

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I began to be concerned about the Olympics 2020. It supposed to be a big event, ever happens in history, in the context of the threepeat of the GAMES in northeast Asia. However, it seems that the Tokyo govt doesn't get it. It is time to show the strength of Northeast Asia, the technology, the economy, the culture, the art, the beauty, and the happiness. Abe should bring this out when he visits Beijing later in October, if possible.

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Ganbare Japan!, It will be the best Olympic ever if you like heatwave a lot.

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Where did all the time go, since PM Abe famous celebration when Japan won the Olympics? I can't wait for next 2 years to go fast, I will definitely be going to several events with my family. Athletics, gymnastic and swimming probably. It will be the best Olympic ever!

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