Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary
Japan’s Foreign Policy to Promote Nationaland Worldwide Interests
In September 2013, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge announced, at the 125th IOC Session, that Tokyo will be the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was a special moment because the long-awaited dreams of not only people involved in sports, but also of the entire Japanese people came true. However, in order to realize that moment, extraordinary efforts were made by a large number of people in both the public and private sectors, centering on the sports community. The full-scale support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan was especially one of the great sources of our strength for the Tokyo host city bid.
I was elected as a member of the IOC at the IOC Session held in the summer of 2012. Subsequently, while engaging in promotion activities at international events, I traveled all over the world to pay courtesy visits on over 100 IOC members who hold voting rights. We were unsure whether we would be able to visit each IOC member at least once during the promotion period. Therefore, the Japanese embassies in the member countries were an enormous source of support for us. Needless to say, in addition to all the support extended to myself in each country, we appreciated the full-scale support we received from Japanese embassies, which included gathering information and explaining the significance of Tokyo’s role as host to government officials and sports communities in each country.
What can Japan contribute to the international Olympic movement? How we answer this question was absolutely vital to the bid’s success. The sports communities in the world gave a very high appraisal toward the “Sport for Tomorrow,” the international contribution program by the Japanese Government.
The final vote for the selection of the 2020 host city was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and large numbers of delegates from Japan traveled to the city in support of Tokyo’s bid. It included Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, and several members of the Japanese Diet. In addition, many leaders from Japan’s business community also traveled to Buenos Aires in support, including honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation Fujio Cho. This extensive backing enabled us to make a powerful appeal for support of our endeavor to have Japan selected. At the time of the bid, there were anxieties over the issue of radiation-contaminated water among IOC members, but a powerful speech by Prime Minister Abe succeeded in dispelling the anxieties. I am confident to say that this “All-Japan” approach was one of the key factors that led to our successful bid. And Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa as well as Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado also visited Buenos Aires during this period. If we can optimize this All-Japan approach for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I believe that we could make it a historical event, which will remain in the hearts and memories of people all over the world.
President of Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee
President of Japanese Olympic Committee