Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flag and Paralympic Flag Tour Commences

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has joined the City of Tokyo, the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japanese Paralympic Committee in launching the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flag and Paralympic Flag Tour. This event is designed to create a sense of unity in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by communicating the wonder and value of the Olympic and Paralympic Games through the flags that symbolise them.

Ceremonies were held in two Tokyo communities - the village of Ogasawara on Saturday 8 October, and the town of Okutama on Sunday 9 October - to celebrate the arrival of the flags and to kick off their tour of the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Tohoku region.

In the island community of Ogasawara, 600 residents—about one-third of the total population—gathered at a park venue near the centre of Chichijima to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic flags. The crowd of spectators, consisting primarily of local elementary school students, applauded and cheered as the Olympic flag was presented to local third-grader Kansuke Takahashi by Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike. The Paralympic flag was presented to the village's deputy mayor by Paralympian and flag tour ambassador Hiroshi Miura, who competed in power lifting at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After receiving the flag, a smiling Takahashi said, “I was extremely nervous to be the first person to receive the flag from Governor Koike. I'm very happy that the flag tour is starting here in Ogasawara.”

The following day, the Olympic and Paralympic flags were transported to Hahajima Island, where a large crowd gathered at the Ogasawara Village Office Hahajima Branch Hall to welcome their arrival.

In Okutama, a 1,660-person crowd consisting mostly of local residents gathered at Hikawa Elementary School to welcome the arrival of the two flags. The Olympic flag was presented to the chairperson of the Okutama Town Sports Association by Olympian and flag tour ambassador Kotono Tanaka, who competed in rhythmic gymnastics at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games, while the Paralympic flag was presented to the mayor of Okutama by Governor Koike.

The tour is scheduled to take the Olympic and Paralympic flags to the total of 62 wards, cities, towns and villages in Tokyo and Tohoku by June 2017.

The ceremony at the village of Ogasawara, Chichijima The children with the Olympic and Paralympic flags at the village of Ogasawara, Chichijim. Hiroshi Miura ambassador with children The ceremony at the Okutama Town