Five More Things Japan is Doing in Preparation for The 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games

Shotaro Honda Moore
Tokyo 2020 Mascots: Miraitowa (Left) and Someity (Right). ©ShotaroHondaMoore

As one would expect, with under two years to go until the start of the Tokyo 2020 Games, more and more details concerning the organization of the games is taking shape. We see this range from changes to government run institutions like transportation infrastructure and education, to private business practices. This is the second list regarding these preparations that Japan is making to host the worlds largest sporting event. If you’d like to check out part one, the link will be provided below.


Creating Athlete Uniforms From Recycled Clothes

©GreenActionCentre

The Tokyo 2020 Games has made a commitment to make these games one of the most eco friendly Olympic Games to date. This effort is through multiple initiatives created by the Olympics. From the use of strictly renewable energy to power the games, to the development of algae based bio fuel that may make a prototype appearance. A smaller but still a significant project is the use of recycled clothing to create athletes uniforms. The official Tokyo 2020 Olympic athlete kit is the responsibility of the sports firm Asics. They are hoping to collet 30,000 articles of clothing to make the uniforms. These will not be the uniforms for actual competition, but for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for the medal presentations at the podiums. There is another collection effort going on for plastics and polyester materials that can also be incorporated in the athletes wardrobe. The reasoning given by Asics is two fold, in that they believe that Japanese citizens will feel a stronger sense of attachment to the athletes, and they are attempting to uphold Tokyo 2020’s mission of hosting a more eco friendly event.


Running Olympic Test Events

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee decided awhile ago that they were going to have a plethora of test events, so their management, workers and volunteers could have experience prior to the Summer Games. There are two categories the events fall into. The first is international and domestic events that would have taken place regardless of the Olympics, which totals 34 different events and will be merely supported by the Olympic staff members. The other 22 events are directly organized by Tokyo 2020 and all these events will be ran under the brand name “Ready, Steady, Tokyo”. The test events started last year in September with the World Sailing’s World Cup Series and will run until May 2020. Tokyo 2020 recently released their full plan for what events they are going to run.

If you would like to see a complete list, click on the link below:


Collecting Donated Materials To Produce Olympic Medals.

Tokyo 2020 Will Accept Broken Or Unused Electronics For Their Medal Project. ©ShotaroHondaMoore

There has been an ongoing effort by the Japanese people to donate metal to Tokyo 2020 in order to create the Olympic medals from strictly recycled goods. This is aptly named, “Tokyo 2020 Medal Project”, with the goal of creating over 5000 gold, silver and bronze medals in total. This is not the first games to use recycled material for Olympic and Paralympic medals, but it is the first in two aspects. If their target of using 100% recycled goods is achieved, it will be the first Summer Games to do so. It also differs in that they are the only games to directly ask their citizens to participate in the donating process. It may seem like a lot to ask, but they aren’t asking people to donate their jewelry or antiques, but simply used electronics that they may not need anymore. Many mobile phones and electrical appliances contain small amounts of precious metal that can be used. The donation project is restricted within Japan only.

*Edit: On February 8th (a couple hours after this article was posted), it was announced by The Tokyo2020 Organizing Committee that the target number of donations would be reached.

Tokyo 2020 Release Video From 2017 Announcing The Project. ©Tokyo2020.org

Ending The Sales Of Adult Magazines At Convenience Stores

Not directly to do with the games per say, but it was announced that prior to the Tokyo 2020 games, the sales of adult magazines at corner stores would be ceased. Obviously with the stagnation of sales in print pornography this only makes sense for both economical and environmental reasons. However the added pressure of cleaning up the image of Japan prior to the games is without a doubt a factor. For example the elimination of smoking in restaurants is another push the government has made in preparation of the Olympics. You would have to imagine the ban on smoking is a much more controversial matter than the ending the sales of nudie magazines. Regardless this is still a change that you have to think Tokyo 2020 inevitably got the ball rolling on.

A Magazine Section Of A Seven Eleven With Some Adult Magazines. ©ShotaroHondaMoore

Developing The New Maglev Train

The last 1964 Summer Tokyo Olympics saw great technological development in Japan. The Tokyo Tower for example was just one project completed prior to the games to help broadcast the event to television sets throughout the nation. Possibly an even bigger development came in the form of the Shinkansen, which is often referred to as a bullet train in English speaking countries. This Shinkansen has been the most popular means of travel for long distance domestically, with their maximum operational speed of 320 km/h. An estimated 353 million people ride the Shinkansen each year in Japan.

A Picture From A Sneak Peek Of The New Model. ©bbc.com

In ode to the 1964 Summer Games and due to the natural development of more convenient modes of transportation, the 2020 Tokyo Games will possibly feature a brand new version of the Shinkansen. Ok well it isn’t technically a bullet train and is actually a linear train called the Maglev. It differs in that it relies purely on a levitating force generated between superconducting magnets. Without any friction from wheels it will have a an operational speed of roughly 505 km/h . By the time of the Summer Olympics, there is hope that a demonstration will be available for tourists to ride on from the new station in Kofu. This has yet to be confirmed, as the actual planned opening won’t be until around 2027.


So there you have it, another quick list of five more ongoing developments that Japan is making to support the games. With Tokyo 2020’s combined focus of technological development and traditional culture, it will be a unique games in many ways.

If you wish to contact me, you can reach me at Shotarohmoore@hotmail.com

Shotaro Honda Moore

Written by

A writer and photographer living in Hachioji, Japan. Creating articles about the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Beijing Olympics and other interests.

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