Emperor Naruhito Wants Beacon of Hope from Olympics

Society Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito expressed hopes on Thursday that a beacon of hope for a new future will be brought by athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, which officially kick off Friday.

In a speech during a meeting with 19 International Olympic Committee members at the Imperial Palace, the Emperor said he hopes that closely coordinated measures to prevent COVID-19 infections "will allow all athletes to compete in their sports in good health."

"It is my hope that through their performances the Games will be a beacon of hope for a new future," said the Emperor, who is honorary president of the Tokyo Olympics.

"I would like to join you in wishing all the athletes the very best," he said at the 20-minute meeting with the IOC members, including President Thomas Bach.

Bach expressed admiration for Japanese people's efforts to address challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020