Saburo Kawabuchi Appointed Olympic & Paralympic Village Mayor

Deputy Village Mayor and Associate Village Mayors also appointed,

all with sports and Olympic & Paralympic experience and athletes’ welfare at heart

Tokyo, 23 December 2019 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020)

today announced the appointment of Saburo Kawabuchi, Executive Advisor to the Japan Football Association and

concurrently President of the Alliance of Japan Top Leagues, as Mayor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village.

Tokyo 2020 additionally announced the appointment of Haruki Uemura, President of Japan’s Kodokan Judo Institute and concurrently board member at the International Judo Federation, as Deputy Village Mayor. This brings to seven the number of Associate Village Mayors appointed; five for the Olympic Village and two for the Paralympic Village. Three out of the seven will have responsibility for both Villages.

The main responsibilities of Village Mayor, Deputy Village Mayor and Associate Village Mayor are attending to VIPs as representative of the Village, as well as liaising and exchanging information with participating athletes, team

representatives and officials of the various National Olympic Committees.

Olympic Village:

Village Mayor:

Saburo Kawabuchi, Executive Advisor to Japan Football Association; President, Alliance of Japan Top Leagues,

participated in Tokyo 1964 Olympics (football)

Deputy Village Mayor:

Haruki Uemura, President at Kodokan Judo Institute, board member of International Judo Federation, participated in

Montreal 1976 Olympics (won Gold medal in judo)

Associate Village Mayors (in Japanese alphabetical order) :

- Mikako Kotani, board member of Japanese Olympic Committee, participated in the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games

(bronze medals in artistic swimming solo and duet, formerly synchronized swimming)

- Naoko Saiki, board member, Japan Rugby Football Union

- Masamitsu Takizawa, Head of Japan Institute of Keirin

- Aki Taguchi, Vice President, Paralympians Association of Japan, participated in the Paralympic Games Athens

2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 (shooting)

- Hideaki Tomiyama, Vice President, Japan Wrestling Federation, participated in the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic

Games (won gold medal in wrestling)

Paralympic Village:

Village Mayor:

Saburo Kawabuchi, Executive Advisor to Japan Football Association; President, Alliance of Japan Top Leagues,

Deputy Village Mayor:

Haruki Uemura, President, Kodokan Judo Institute, board member of International Judo Federation

Associate Village Mayors (in Japanese alphabetical order) :

- Kuniko Obinata, President of Paralympians Association of Japan, participated in the Paralympic Games

Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, winning multiple medals

including a gold medal at Nagano 1998 (downhill skiing)

- Naoko Saiki, board member, Japan Rugby Football Union

- Masamitsu Takizawa, Head of Japan Institute of Keirin

- Aki Taguchi, Vice President, the Paralympians Association of Japan, participated in the Paralympic Games Athens

2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012

- Shinji Negi, Vice President, the Paralympians Association of Japan, participated in the Paralympic Games Sydney

2000 (wheelchair basketball)

Comments by Village Mayor Saburo Kawabuchi

"I am delighted and honoured from the bottom of my heart to be appointed as the Village Mayor of the Tokyo 2020 Games’ Olympic and Paralympic Village. Having participated in the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964 as a football player, it feels like a dream come true to be able to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo after 56 years. When I heard about the activities of the Village Mayor, it sounded like quite hard work. However, I am ready to commit myself to creating a comfortable, cosy and memorable Olympic and Paralympic Village for the athletes from all over the world, working together with Deputy Village Mayor Uemura and the seven Associate Village Mayors as one team."

Comments by Deputy Village Mayor Haruki Uemura

"It’s a great honour and I feel very motivated to be appointed as the Deputy Village Mayor of the Tokyo 2020 Games’

Olympic and Paralympic Village. We will create a safe, secure and comfortable Olympic and Paralympic Village so that all participating athletes can make the best use of their body and spirit, and the skills they have cultivated through daily training, to exceed their personal best. Various people from all over the world will gather in the Olympic and Paralympic Village. By appreciating and embracing new encounters as well as deepening interactions and mutual understanding, I hope this village will nurture the spirit of mutual prosperity and help to realize a society where all people can coexist and prosper."

Comments by Associate Village Mayors

Commented Kuniko Obinata, "The Village, where various athletes from many countries and regions will gather and live together, has a unique uplifting feeling. It was one of my pleasures in the Village to exchange pin badges with athletes from other countries. When I returned to the Village with my medal after the event, the volunteers and guards there welcomed me with a smile and I could share my joy with them. In addition, at the Village-entering ceremony of the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games that I participated in as national team leader, I received a warm welcome from the Village Mayor and exchanged a firm handshake, and I am reminded of the feeling I had then and it firms my resolve to support the team the best I can so that the athletes can perform at their best. In the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will be held in my home town, I will cooperate with all of you as Associate Village Mayor to deliver our hospitality so that athletes, officials and all other people visiting the Village can take back their own wonderful memories.

Added Mikako Kotani, "As well as the actual events, the memories of the Olympic Village are the most poignant for me. I still remember vividly the Village at the Olympic Games Seoul 1988; the rustling sound of the bed sheets, the delicious Korean beef bulgogi and the warmth and kindness of all the guards. I spent a pleasant time in a positive frame of mind thanks to the Olympic Village, and this helped me to win those long-awaited medals. I am very happy to be able to support and provide hospitality in such a Village. The way athletes spend their time in the Village helps to determine their future life, so I would like to do my best to support them as Associate Village Mayor with the commitment and responsibility that entails.

Naoko Saiki said, "I feel very honoured, and feel a sense of determination being appointed as Associate Village Mayor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village. I was at the IOC Executive Meeting in Buenos Aires as a member of the Japan government when Tokyo was selected as the host city six years ago. I remember the excitement I felt at that time like it was yesterday. I will do my best with my duties as Associate Village Mayor so that all the athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Games can make the most of their power. Sport connects the world and helps to create a wonderful future. Let's work together to make this peace festival a success."

Commented Masamitsu Takizawa, "I am very honoured to be appointed as the Associate Village Mayor of the Olympic and Paralympic Village Tokyo 2020. As Head of the Japan Institute of Keirin, I have trained and developed many bicycle racers and Olympians. I graduated from this training institute in Izu about 40 years ago and became a bicycle racer myself. I am very pleased that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be held somewhere that is so close to my heart. Also, being appointed as the Associate Village Mayor makes me want to do my best. For the athletes, the Tokyo 2020 Games will be a great stage that will offer them a once in a lifetime experience. I would like to fully support this big stage and watch over the successful activities of the athletes."

Aki Taguchi added, "I'm worried whether I can fulfil this important role, but I'll do my best. When I participated in the past three Paralympic Games, I was able to spend a comfortable time in the Village thanks to all of the people there from each country. I would like to create an environment where everyone—the athletes and staff members of each country who are in the Village—can achieve their personal best. I would like to make the Tokyo 2020 Games a memorable experience for all of them, by joining forces with the Village Mayor, Deputy Village Mayor, the other Associate Village Mayors and all other people involved."

Commented Hideaki Tomiyama, "I was really surprised when I heard that I had been appointed as an Associate Village Mayor of the Olympic Village; it was like a bolt from the blue. I really appreciate it and at the same time I feel a sense of responsibility. At the time of the 1964 Tokyo Games, 56 years ago, I was a first grader in elementary school and have a vague memory of watching the Games together with my family on a black and white TV somewhere in the neighbourhood. I have been involved in the Olympic Games 10 times, as an athlete, coach, director and commentator, including the Moscow 1980 Games which were boycotted by some countries. Each time and at every venue, I felt the love and warm hospitality of so many people. I would like to ask myself what I can do as an Associate Village Mayor by leveraging these experiences, to convey with a smile the warmth of Japanese people’s hearts to the athletes gathered from all over the world. Even if our language, customs and skin colour are different, a smile is the biggest common language that brings the world together. The torch will finally come to Tokyo from the Temple of Hera in Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games. Soon it will be the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Let's share this amazing time with everyone from all over the world and make lasting memories!"

Added Shinji Negi, "I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be appointed as the Associate Village Mayor of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Village. At the same time, I feel a strong sense of responsibility. The Village is the most important place for athletes and staff before, during and after the Games. We will strive to provide the best environment for the athletes so that they can achieve their best performances in the Games. It is also the best place for athletes and staff from all over the world to deepen their interaction. I will do my best to create a wonderful Village where athletes, staff, volunteers and all other people involved can recount throughout their lives to future generations that it was the best Village of all."

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