The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced that the Emperor of Japan Naruhito will be the Honorary Patron of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Tokyo 2020 in another key appointment has also confirmed Japanese Astronauts as space ambassadors for the Games Troch Relay.
The Emperor has consented to accept the position following a formal request by Tokyo 2020, submitted through the national government.
Emperor Naruhito will assume the role from 24 July 2019, exactly one year before the commencement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and relinquish it on 6 September 2020, the closing day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori commented, “We are deeply grateful to His Majesty the Emperor for assuming the role of Honorary Patron of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, an event that will bring together the world’s top athletes and showcase their technique and power. The Games will also provide a great opportunity to deepen the friendship and solidarity between people all over the world and for us reflect on the preciousness of peace. Tokyo 2020 also aims to continue supporting the reconstruction and revival of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and to share their progress with the world.
“In 2020, Tokyo will become the first city to host the Summer Paralympic Games twice, following its hosting of the Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games; this is a significant step in the promotion of the Paralympic Movement in Japan and across the world.
“His Majesty’s gracious assumption of this title is not only a great honour and source of inspiration, it will be a hugely positive force in terms of promoting the values of the Games, including peace, friendship, the support for reconstruction of disaster-hit areas, and the Paralympic Movement’s message of diversity.
We will continue our work to prepare for a successful Games and look forward to everyone’s support.”
Japanese astronauts will broadcast messages of encouragement from space during the torch relays for both the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide will send the messages to torchbearers from the International Space Station in their role as Tokyo 2020 “Torch Relay Space Ambassadors,” the organizers said.
The astronauts will also take part in other activities to promote the Olympics and Paralympics while orbiting Earth aboard the ISS.