Tokyo unveiled "Uniting Our Worlds" as its bid slogan for the 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games at a press conference yesterday in Beijing, officially kicking off its international communications campaign.
The theme promotes Tokyo's desire not only to bring excitement to people around the world, but also help address some of the greatest challenges the city and its international counterparts are facing, such as urbanization, an aging population and how to best care for the environment.
"We all live in one world, yet also belong to our own unique worlds," says Ichiro Kono, CEO and chairman of Tokyo 2016 bid committee.
"By hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo we want to unite old and new Japan, heritage with innovation, green with 2016, and the Games seamlessly into city life, to showcase a sustainable urban life, which may serve as a legacy from this Olympics to help every city in the world to solve the challenges they are facing."
For the first time in Olympic history, venues will be clustered around a dense urban area and organized into two highly compact zones: the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone. The entire downtown will be the stage for 95 percent of the events, held within an eight km radius.
"To locate the venues at the city's center makes it easy for athletes and spectators to move, rest and relax," said Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee. "For example, spectators will be able to use their Olympic event ticket to enter the historic Imperial Palace, which is located within the Heritage Zone."
Athletes and officials will be transported in zero - or low-emission shuttle buses. Transport to most stadiums will take less than 20 minutes. Tickets to athletic events will provide all spectators with free use of the public transportation system of subways, railways and buses.
Of the 31 venues for sporting events, 21 are existing, four will require refurbishment and 10 will be newly constructed - of which half will be permanent and the rest temporary.
Kono says that they are impressed by Beijing's venues for the upcoming 2008 Games, such as the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. They are hoping to also build eye-catching venues for the 2016 Games.
In addition to the venues, Kono says that Tokyo can also learn from Beijing's athletes' village, the sustainable facilities prepared for the gala and the passionate public support.
The Tokyo bid committee also announced the logo of the Games, a traditional Japanese knot known in Japan as "Musubi." It symbolizes that the Games will tie together sport and culture, cities and the natural environment.
Six cities are competing with Tokyo for the 2016 Games - Baku in Azerbaijan, Chicago in the United States, Doha in Qatar, Madrid in Spain, Prague in the Czech Republic and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.