"The Chinese athletes most familiar to me are Liu Xiang and Yao Ming. They are both Asia's pride," said Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, in his office.
He also said that he is looking forward to the Beijing Olympics. "The Olympic Games held in Asia come at an appropriate time, as Asia's economy is growing rapidly and its international status consistently improves. Japan has sent the largest delegation in its history to the Beijing Olympics, which reflects Japanese people's great expectation for the Beijing Olympics."
"The Beijing Olympics will display Asia's strength to the world. Meanwhile, I hope Japanese athletes can communicate with the Chinese on all levels to deepen the friendly relationship between Japan and China; and hold exchanges with the athletes from other Asian countries," said Tsunekazu Takeda.
Over the last 10 years, Tsunekazu Takeda has visited China several times. The great change brought by the Olympics in Beijing has impressed him. He said, "The air has become clear in Beijing; the city is filled with the Olympic atmosphere on both sides of the road from the airport to the downtown; and the whole city is beautiful."
He added, "When Japan held the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, the environmental problems were also serious. It is a common issue for the economy in fast-growing countries."
Regarding the preparation for the Beijing Olympics, Tsunekazu Takeda said, "The most impressive aspects are the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. They are indeed buildings of epic proportions."
He added, "The hardware is always challenge for the Olympic organizer. Beijing has completed building all stadiums successfully as planned. In this sense, the Beijing Olympics must be successful."
The great change brought by the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 to Japan remains fresh in Tsunekazu Takeda's memory. He thinks the Beijing Olympics will inevitably have a deep influence on Chinese society.
He said, "A successful Olympic Games will not only deepen the friendship between China and other countries in the world, but also bring confidence to Chinese people. And that confidence will come to all forms and help China to achieve greater progress."
By People's Daily Online