Ex-Pilots Wish Good Luck as Tokyo Sky Awaits Olympic Rings

Society Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Two former Air Self-Defense Force pilots have their own reasons to wish the ASDF's Blue Impulse aerobatic team success in drawing the Olympic rings in the sky above Tokyo to mark Friday's opening of the Olympics.

Katsushige Nishimura and Tadashi Fujinawa, both 84, were among five Blue Impulse pilots who did the same job during the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Nishimura and Fujinawa, who piloted the team's No. 3 and No. 5 planes, respectively, are still close and visit each other's houses in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. The three other pilots, including the leader at the time, have passed away.

It was one and half years before the 1964 games that the organizing committee asked them whether they could perform.

One of the pilots came up with the idea of drawing the five rings in the sky.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020