Japanese Astronauts Appointed Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors

Tokyo, 22 July 2019 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo

2020) today announced the appointment of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Soichi

Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide as Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors for both the Olympic and

Paralympic Games.

In this role, they will support and enliven the torch relay while in space by broadcasting supportive

messages for the Olympic and Paralympic torchbearers from the International Space Station (ISS).

During their orbits of the earth the astronauts will also undertake various initiatives aimed at bringing an

extra-terrestrial dimension to the torch relay and boosting global awareness of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic

and Paralympic Games as the build-up to them continues.

Noguchi commented, "I am delighted to have been appointed Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space

Ambassador. The flame is a symbol of peace and hope and I am looking forward to sending messages

of peace from the ISS and cheering on those participating in the torch relay. I believe that the light of the

flame will encapsulate the "power of recovery" emanating from Japan’s recent natural disasters, as well

as the "tolerance" that allows us to accept diversity and the "dynamism" uniting local communities in a

global festival, and that it will herald the sunrise of a new generation. To everyone in Japan, I say please

join with us astronauts and help create a road of hope illuminated by flame."

Added Hoshide, "I am glad to have been appointed Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassador. When

I heard about this opportunity, I felt very honoured, and I realized how much closer the Tokyo 2020 Games

are getting. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are great events involving top athletes from all over the

world striving to win, to achieve a world record or achieve a personal best with the support of their team.

Astronaut Soichi and I look forward to engaging with the torch relay as it delivers the flame to the opening

ceremony and helps to connect everyone’s hopes for the future."


You can download photos of two Japanese astronauts from the following links:

Soichi Noguchi: http://jda.jaxa.jp/result.php?lang=e&id=8234593c32bcb14766facaf225ed97a3

Akihiko Hoshide: http://jda.jaxa.jp/result.php?lang=e&id=e10bb16c9fc310f560d696ca955e9e03


- Please refrain from redistributing these photos

- It is not necessary to apply for permission to use the photos if using them for this coverage. If you

wish to use them for other purposes, please observe JAXA’s conditions for usage at


Biographies of Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors

Soichi Noguchi, JAXA Astronaut

Born 1965 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. After receiving a

master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the

University of Tokyo, he joined Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy

Industries, where he was involved in the aerodynamic

design and performance testing of aircraft engines. In 1996,

he was selected as an astronaut candidate by the National

Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently the

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In 2005, he joined a

mission with the space shuttle Discovery during which the

shuttle docked with the International Space Station and

Noguchi conducted three extravehicular activities as a lead

spacewalker. In 2009 he was launched to the ISS aboard the

Soyuz spacecraft. He spent five and a half months aboard

the ISS as a flight engineer for the 22/23 mission expedition

and operated the robotic arm of Japan’s KIBO module as well

as conducting scientific experiments. Later this year, he will

return to the ISS for a long term assignment as flight engineer.

Born 1968 in Tokyo. After receiving a bachelor's degree in

mechanical engineering from Keio University, he joined the

National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA,

currently the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and was

involved in the development and management of the H-II

rocket. He also worked as an astronaut support engineer. In

1999, he was selected as one of three Japanese astronaut

candidates for the ISS. In 2008, he flew to the ISS on the

STS-124 mission and installed Japan’s KIBO pressurized

module. In 2012, he stayed on the ISS as a flight engineer

for the 32/33 mission expedition, conducting scientific

experiments in the KIBO module and other parts of the ISS

and undertaking three extravehicular activity excursions. In

2020, he will return to the ISS as commander.

For more information: Tokyo 2020 Online Press Room, ID: media password: tokyo2020media

International Communications

Email: pressoffice@tokyo2020.jp

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