The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Committee | Tokyo 2020

September 2013

How and why the ACCJ has supported the bid

By Megan Waters, ACCJ Journal editor-in-chief

Over the past year the ACCJ has been a keen supporter of the Tokyo bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tokyo’s undertaking is believed to be well aligned with the chamber’s endeavors for this year, encapsulated in the phrase “Achieving Growth Together.”

To support its 2020-related effort, the chamber established a task force, chaired by Jonathan Kushner, and supported by vice chairs David Wouters, Edward Cole, and Toshiko Saito. The team has provided supportive statements and advocated on behalf of relevant US, Japanese and international stakeholders; generated positive goodwill among Japan’s political and business leaders; and held special events to build enthusiasm among members.

They worked closely with partners such as the Tokyo American Club to drive interest in, and support for, the bid among the city’s foreign residents.

“We feel that, by doing our part, we are signaling our enthusiasm for Japan as a place to do business, contributing to the local community, and adding to the personal and professional growth of our members,” said Kushner.

For a Tokyo Olympics - ACCJ Journal

Attending the ACCJ’s “Nomunication and New Orleans Jazz” event on March 7 are: (from left) Masataka Fujishima, Akihiko “Tiger” Oga, and Task Force Vice Chair David Wouters.


He believes the Olympics would provide a tangible goal for Tokyo residents to rally behind. He hopes it might help drive economic growth, generate enthusiasm, and provide a springboard for further investment and interest in Japan as a welcoming destination for global business and inbound tourism.

“For businesses in Japan—local and foreign—greater attention [paid to the country] means more opportunities for investment, contracts, and potential. [This would be] not just for the several weeks that Tokyo hosts the Games, but during the nearly seven years of preparations,” Kushner said.

Tokyo would provide a safe and well-organized event and, although the city hosted the Games in 1964, it has changed a lot over the past 50 years.

“If Tokyo should win the bid, the 2020 Games would present an opportunity to demonstrate its innovation, showcasing wonderful inventiveness in fields like food, fashion, architecture, and technology,” he said.

At the task force’s “What Will the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bring to Japan?” joint event, the ACCJ, on behalf of 14 other chambers of commerce, presented Toyota Motor Corporation Honorary Chairman and Chairman of the Japan Sports Association Fujio Cho with a letter of support for the bid addressed to the IOC. This added further support to the cause.

With the IOC’s vote on September 7, it is hoped that the IOC will agree that Tokyo is the best choice for the Games. •

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Tokyo would provide a safe and well-organized event and, although the city hosted the Games in 1964, it has changed a lot over the past 50 years.”