Tokyo thanks Lord Coe

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The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has expressed its appreciation to Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), during his end–February 2012 visit to Japan to promote the Games of the XXX Olympiad (London 2012).

The two–day visit was a part of a world campaign to meet young people and to update officials, coaches and athletes on the latest development and preparations for the Games, reaching all five continents. Coe visited the Ajinomoto National Training Centre, a state–of–the–art training facility used by world–class athletes from Japan and other countries worldwide. Coe enjoyed talking with dozens of athletes and offered advice and encouragement to them training at the facility, including middle–distance runners in athletics, triathletes including first–ever Youth Olympic champion Yuka Sato, and Japanese rhythmic gymnastics national team – Fairy Japan – who has been qualified for London 2012. The 1, 500–metre gold medallist in both the Games of the XXII Olympiad (Moscow 1980) and the Games of the XXIII Olympiad (Los Angeles 1984) said: " Japanese athletes are amongst the best in the world in sports as diverse as judo, swimming and gymnastics. I have no doubt that the Japanese team will enjoy a warm welcome to the Games from London's dynamic Japanese community as well as from British fans and also from the large number of Japanese visitors we expect to attend the Games. " " The London 2012 Games will leave a great sporting legacy for the communities of London and the UK but also for international sport and young people. We remain committed to inspiring the new generation to take up sport and to realise meanings of sport in their lives, " he added. Coe also visited the Kasumigaoka National Stadium, the iconic main stadium of the Games of the XVIII Olympiad (Tokyo 1964). Later, after meeting with Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo, and Tenzo Okumura, Senior Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Coe interacted with students from the Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School. He reminded them of the educational value of sport and its capacity to raise the aspirations of individuals, countries and indeed the entire world.

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