The Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Programme was launched in November ©Tokyo 2020

International foundations and foreign embassies are being invited to participate in Tokyo 2020's Nationwide Participation Programme to boost interest in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is hoped that this will encourage greater public participation in both the preparations and staging of the event while also attracting more overseas visitors to Japan. 

Around 11,000 initiatives have supposedly taken place since the programme was launched in October.

Nearly 2.85 million people have taken part.

Events have taken place in Japan but have also embraced foreigners living there.

They have included classes on traditional Japanese culture as well as cultural exchange programmes between the host nation and other countries.

In January, for instance, Sendai City and Sendai Cultural Foundation in Miyagi prefecture hosted an event teaching aspects of Japanese Noh theatre in English. 

It is hoped the expanded programme will help boost interest in Tokyo 2020 across Japan and beyond ©Getty Images
It is hoped the expanded programme will help boost interest in Tokyo 2020 across Japan and beyond ©Getty Images

In February, Bunkyo ward in the capital organised an International Cultural Exchange Festival certified by Tokyo 2020 as one of its Participation Programme initiatives. 

Traditional elements of Japanese culture such as “ikebana” flower arrangements, tea ceremonies and calligraphy were included.

"With just three years to go before the 2020 Games, Tokyo 2020 hopes that the expansion of its Nationwide Participation Programme will spur an increase in the number of events and initiatives hosted by various international entities and other organisations across the nation," a statement said.

"And that these will involve an increasing number of people, included foreigners living in Japan and visitors to the country before, during and after the Tokyo 2020 Games."

The Tokyo Olympics is due to take place from July 24 to August 9 in three years time.

The Paralympics will follow from August 25 to September 6.