July 19 - The Tokyo bid team for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has unveiled its official slogan – "Discover Tomorrow" – as it steps up efforts to host the greatest sporting event on the planet.
The Japanese capital is bidding against Istanbul in Turkey and Madrid in Spain for the right to stage the Games with a decision set to be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at their Session in Buenos Aires in September next year.
The slogan was unveiled at a press conference in Japan by Tokyo 2020 President Tsunekazu Takeda (pictured above, left), Tokyo 2020 chief executive Masato Mizuno (pictured above, right) and young triathlete Yuka Sato (pictured above, centre), who made history by becoming the first ever Youth Olympic Games gold medal winner with a victory on the first day of Singapore 2010.
"This new slogan underpins the global inspiration and dynamic innovation of Japan's bid for the Games and Tokyo as a city," said Takeda, who is also the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) President.
"We believe that Tokyo 2020 will be a Games in which the Olympic values add to the life of the host city and its people, and in which those people and their culture, customs and values add something to the Olympic Movement.
"Japan's unique hospitality is a key theme of the slogan.
"It is just one example of the traditional culture, based on Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship, which makes Japan so fascinating to visitors."
Despite Tokyo being picked by many experts as the favourite to win the 2020 bid, Takeda said that such assessments were premature and that he did not want to focus too closely on the other two bidders for the Games.
"It is difficult to compare with other cities," added the former show jumper who represented Japan at the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympics.
"It will be the first in Turkey for Istanbul, but we could host a better Games because it will be the second time for Tokyo [following the 1964 Olympics in the city]."
Takeda himself will play a pivotal role in the Tokyo bid with London 2012 marking a critical time in the race for the Games.
The IOC Session next week, which takes place on the eve of the 2012 Olympics, will see Takeda become an IOC member after being nominated earlier this year.
The election of Takeda would see be the 13th IOC member from Japan and the second from his family.
His father, Tsuneyoshi, who was a grandson of Emperor Meiji, also served as an IOC member.
Tsuneyoshi became President of the JOC in 1962 and was involved in the organisation of Tokyo 1964, as well as the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.
He was a member of the IOC from 1967 to 1981, during which time he was director of the Executive Board for five years.
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