By Duncan Mackay

Tokyo 2020 communications teamFebruary 1 - Tokyo 2020 today appointed Hisao Shuto as its new international communications director as its campaign to host the Olympics and Paralympics continued to gather momentum. 

The 53-year-old Shuto (pictured above fourth left) brings nearly three decades of sport and communications experience, including 12 years in Japanese football, and is expected to play a key when the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission, headed by Britain's Sir Craig Reedie, visit Tokyo on March 3 until 7. 

Shuto, who also previously worked for public relations and communictions agency Hill & Knowlton, directed communications for a variety of sporting events, including the 2002 FIFA World Cup which Japan co-hosted with South Korea.

In this role with Japan's Organising Committee he handled domestic and international media relations.

More recently during his tenure at the Japan Professional Football League, Shuto handled internal communications and was also the project manager for increasing stadium attendance numbers.

"Our Bid is leveraging the talent of many people from diverse backgrounds, and we are thrilled to add Hisao Shuto to our team," said Tsunekazu Takeda, head of Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee. 

"He is an experienced marketing and communications professional and an enthusiastic sports fan.

"The whole of Japan is looking forward to the arrival of the IOC Evaluation Commission early next month, and our newest appointment underscores our readiness to welcome our international friends.

"Our bid team is full of passionate, driven individuals united by a clear passion to deliver a dynamic celebration right in the heart of Tokyo."

Shuto joins a team which already includes international relations and communications deputy director general and communications Director Tokuaki Suzuki, who served at Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Japan Football Association (JFA), acting communications director Masa Takaya, who concurrently serves as the communications manager at the JOC, head of international communications Nao Miyawaki, who served at the International Canoe Federation, and head of online and social media Ayano Egami, a silver medallist in synchronised swimming in Sydney 2000.

"It is a great honour for me to join Tokyo's bid," said Shuto.

"I have seen and felt first-hand the true passion for sport that exists throughout Japan during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.

"Ever since, I have hoped that Japan could one day host the world's most inspirational celebration of sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"I aim to use the experience I have built up over more than 20 years to ensure that we create momentum behind what I hope will be a winning campaign for Tokyo."

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