New skyscraper used to promote Tokyo 2020 bid
Tuesday, 08 May 2012
May 8 - A special gala lunch has been held at the launch of a futuristic skyscraper has been held to promote Tokyo's bid to hold the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Supporters of the Japanese capital's bid were also invited to submit hand-written message cards shaped like cherry blossoms, Japan's most celebrated blossom and the pattern of the Tokyo 2020 logo, to help boost the campaign ahead of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) announcement in Quebec City on May 23 on which cities will be granted Candidate City status.
Tokyo is facing rivals Baku, Doha, Istanbul and Madrid.
Among those who left a message was Ai Shibata, the 2004 Athens Olympic 800 metres freestyle champion, who last month helped launch Tokyo's international campaign at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Moscow.
"I wrote 'unite all voices in Japan as one," she said.
"Let's aim for Tokyo Olympics!' in the message card.
"When I was still an athlete I was focusing on my preparation for the Olympics, and had no idea how the event was actually organised.
"Following my retirement, as I got involved in various activities, I learned how important the support of the host city's people is.
"Of course there are many factors that play a role in the Olympics, such as the Athlete Village for instance, but the most important thing is how enthusiastic the people are.
"I would like for Japan to unite as one in spreading our common goal to host the Olympics once again, with the aid of not only Tokyo citizens but from people all across Japan."
Others who attended the launch of the glistening commercial tower, named Shibuya Hikarie, which is designed to become Tokyo's newest hub for shopping, dining, culture, entertainment and business, included Mikako Kotani, who won a bronze medal in the duet synchronised swimming event at Seoul in 1988 and was the chairman of the Athletes' Commission during Tokyo's unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
The new building counts 34 floors, nearly 200 shops, 26 eateries, design and art galleries, office floors and a musical theatre with 2,000 seats.
Situated in Shibuya, a world-famous entertainment focal point for young people, Hikarie is symbolising the advanced infrastructure and technology that underpin Tokyo 2020's dynamic plan to stage Games of excitement and excellence, officials claim.
"Public interest and support for Tokyo 2020 is increasing every single day," said Masato Mizuno, the chief executive of Tokyo 2020.
"he entire country is anticipating IOC's decision, hoping Tokyo's technical excellence would be recognised, allowing itself to be chosen as a
"We believe the opening of Tokyo's new landmark is a great opportunity to celebrate this.
"Hikarie is a perfect example of Tokyo's renowned passion for innovation, and I also wish this fabulous building to work as our new lucky charm."
April 2012: Cities bidding for 2020 Olympics launch international campaigns
April 2012: Tokyo 2020 delegation joined by Athens 2004 gold medallist for first public presentation
April 2012: Tokyo 2020 appoint new communications director
March 2012: Tokyo 2020 bring in Olympic medallist to help them close social media gap on rivals
March 2012: Tokyo has to get its message right if it is to win 2020 Olympics, Coe advises