Tokyo marked 2,020 days until the start of the 2020 Olympic and then the Paralympic Games with a ceremony in front of the headquarters of the Organising Committee today, which was attended by hundreds of spectators.
The day included various events and festivities to celebrate Tokyo's latest landmark, and among those in attendance was London 2012 swimming bronze medallist Kosuke Hagino, along with 20-year-old Akihiro Yamaguchi and Daiya Seto, gymnast Akiho Sato and Para-cyclist Miho Fujii.
"We are extremely thankful that so many young 20-year-olds turned up to show their support," Hagino said.
"I really felt that there is an increasing interest in and expectations towards the 2020 Games.
"I would love to be able to repay everyone's support by winning a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
Ceremonies also took place in disaster-affected areas of the Tohoku region - which was badly hit during the devastating tsunami and earthquake in 2011.
Olympic gold medallist Ryota Murata and Paralympians Shinji Negi and Aki Taguchi were present for the celebrations in Marioka City.
Meanwhile, London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Satoshi Shimizu and Paralympic medallist Junichi Kawai took part in the festivities in Ishinomaki City.
Elsewhere Olympian Fumie Suguri and Paralympian Yusuke Hatsuse participated in the event in Minamisoma City.
The ceremonies across the nation coincide with Coming of Age Day in Japan, where the country celebrates the young people who have turned 20-years-old in the past year and have officially reached the age of the majority.
Various gatherings and festivities have taken place on the second Monday in January since 1948, organised by municipal authorities in Japan.
"It is a fantastic coincidence that this milestone happens to be on Coming of Age Day in Japan," Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi said.
"2,020 days to go to Tokyo 2020 celebrated with 20-year-olds; that is a lot of young adults representing a wealth of hopes, dreams and expectations towards the Games.
"Tokyo 2020 is about inspiring young people through sport, and today we were delighted to have the opportunity to broaden the network of young people eagerly looking forward to the Opening Ceremony in 2,020 days' time."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2015: Government study underway to reassess Tokyo 2020 legacy aims
January 2015: Exclusive: UCI heads to Tokyo for talks on cycling venues
January 2015: 3x3 basketball optimistic of inclusion at Tokyo 2020
December 2014: Karate officials meet with Japanese Prime Minister to kick-start drive for Tokyo 2020 inclusion
December 2014: Atos and Panasonic to jointly-develop technology-based solutions at Tokyo 2020