Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses the ANOC GA on Wednesday morning. © Andrew ParsonsCouncil News
Date : 28 Nov 2018
Tokyo, Japan, November 28, 2018: The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, gave a welcome speech at the opening session of the 23rd ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo on Wednesday morning. Mr Abe said it was the first time Japan had hosted such an occasion and wished “great success” to all the participants.
Looking ahead to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, the Prime Minister said it would contribute to the recovery of the country following the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. He also looked back on the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo – the first Asian city to host the Games.
“In 1964 we were in the midst of high economic growth, with the bullet train, expressways and many tourists. We were known as a clean city and no garbage littering the roads,” he said.
Tokyo 2020 would display a high-tech city and country, and would give Tokyo and Japan an opportunity to give back something to the world that had supported Japan in 2011, he said.
“In 604 days we will have the opening ceremony in the new national Olympic stadium, so at the opening ceremony we would like to welcome all the people with the highest level of hospitality,” he added.
Mr Abe was introduced by the ANOC President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who welcomed the 206 National Olympic Committees, International Federations, IOC Members, Olympic Games organising committees and other stakeholders to the city hosting the General Assembly, Gala Dinner and also the Olympic Games in 2020.
“I would like to thank the government of Japan, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese Olympic Committee and all of the people who worked hard for preparing a good environment for our meetings and gatherings,” said Sheikh Ahmad.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, praised Sheikh Ahmad for making the General Assembly a “tradition” and a “great occasion”.
“I would like to thank you very much for this initiative,” said President Bach.
Reflecting on 2018, he added: “We had an excellent Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang and an excellent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, and we are here to discuss how, from this firm basis, we can drive the Olympic Movement further and to higher levels in the years to come.”
The President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, described the ANOC General Assembly as a “true celebration” of NOC friends. He urged the participants to visit the city and “get a feel of the enthusiasm and excitement our nation is experiencing for Tokyo.”
*The ANOC Awards included Ambassador Syed Shahed Reza, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Olympic Association, for organising the first Bangladesh youth games in March this year.
*The opening session included final reports of the YOG in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October and the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, in February 2018.
*The delegates observed a minute’s silence as a tribute to members of the Olympic family who had passed away since the 2017 ANOC General Assembly. These included Denis Ten, Kazakhstan’s Sochi 2014 figure skating bronze medal-winner who was killed in a violent crime in the streets of Almaty.
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