Sports have the power to nurture dreams and bring hope to people. Sports have the power to change the world, and even the future of mankind.
In the spirit of peace, I hope that the international community will once again come together to adopt this important General Assembly resolution on the “Olympic truce”, as it has done every two years since 1993.
Japan appreciates the initiative and leadership of the Republic of Korea, the host of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, in submitting this year’s resolution.
As a co-sponsor, Japan would like to highlight the importance of the independence and autonomy of sport, in that the Olympic and Paralympic Games should be organized in the spirit of peace, mutual understanding, friendship, tolerance and inadmissibility of discrimination of any kind.
We are grateful that these fundamental principles from the Olympic Charter are precisely reflected in the resolution.
Japan firmly believes that next year’s games in PyeongChang will realize these ideals and objectives.
Japan will be next, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. It is our desire that the Tokyo 2020 Games realize the following three ideals: first; Achieving Personal Best, second; Unity in Diversity and third; Connecting to Tomorrow.
Achieving Personal Best conveys that the Tokyo 2020 Games aim to deliver an event where all athletes can realize their greatest athletic performance and achieve their personal best.
Unity in Diversity acknowledges the importance of accepting and respecting differences so that peace may be maintained and society may continue to develop and flourish.
As for Connecting to Tomorrow, I would like to recall that the Tokyo 1964 Games were a strong driver for bringing about the rapid economic growth of Japan. We hope that the Tokyo 2020 Games will enable Japan to promote transformative changes, providing an opportunity to bring hope and dreams to the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
We believe that showing the world the recovery and reconstruction of the affected region will be a way to express Japan’s gratitude to all those who have helped us in the efforts that continue to this day. In this regard, the Government of Japan promotes exchanges between the affected areas and the world.
Since 2014, in the lead up to 2020, the Japanese government has been steadily implementing various projects under the program called “Sport for Tomorrow”, recognizing that sport enables societal and economic development. This program aims to cover over 10 million people in more than 100 countries. Specifically, we are implementing such projects as sending or inviting coaches and athletes, and providing sports facilities, believing that these projects contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To conclude, Japan will continue working to promote the field of sports, so that the 2018 PyeongChang Games will be a success, not only in terms of the Games themselves, but also in building up a spirit of peace in the world. I would like to assure you that the Tokyo 2020 Games will do the same.
I thank you, Mr. President.
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Agenda Item 11 of the General Assembly "Building a Peaceful and Better World Through Sport and the Olympic Ideal"
November 13, 2017