Japan marks 3-year countdown to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 24, 2017

Tokyo kicked off a three-year countdown to the 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympics on Monday and unveiled a new theme song for the games at an event in the city.

A 15-day 1,000 kilometres "citizens relay" begun in Aomori prefecture in northeastern Japan. In the 15-day event, about 1,800 runners and cyclists will run through the area devastated by the 2011 massive quake and tsunami before reaching the capital on August 7.

In Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, professional surfers showed off their skills Monday at the Tsurigasaki Beach, the site selected as the Olympics surfing venue. In Tokyo, a concert and other festivities were planned for after dark.

Olympic marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho took part in the relay.

"I hope we can all move forward".

Speaking at the opening of the event, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said: "I want you to deliver hope".

"We want to continue to boost the mood for the 2020 Games over the next three years without getting out of breath".

Since public transport is crowded even without Olympics-related visitors, the government launched an annual "telework" day on Monday to encourage more people to do their jobs remotely, especially during the 2020 Games.

More than 900 businesses and organisations joined the initiative, which the Government plans to continue every year through to 2020.

During the event, a group of Japanese celebrities and Olympians wore traditional Japanese clothing patterned with 2020 games logos and danced to "Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020", an Updated version of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic games song.

Between July 24 and September 6, when the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in 2020, Tokyo metropolitan government officials will perform calisthenics together in the afternoon.

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