After the end of Tokyo 2020, people become more concerned about the Games’ legacy, increasing the popularity of obscure sports, and the effective use of permanent venues while defraying maintenance costs.
One legacy spoiler is former TOCOG executive Takahashi Haruyuki charged with receiving bribes from multiple Tokyo 2020 sponsors. This casts a dark cloud over the prospects and public sentiment over Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Winter Games which was ultimately cancelled.
Updated: Nov 5, 2023
Compiled and written by Philbert Ono (former TOCOG employee). Preserving Tokyo 2020 history and memories.
IOC: International Olympic Committee
IPC: International Paralympic Committee
TOCOG: Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
TMG: Tokyo Metropolitan Government
NOC: National Olympic Committee
NPC: National Paralympic Committee
Five organizers: TOCOG, IOC, IPC, TMG, and government of Japan
WHO: World Health Organization
All venues also have a three-letter abbreviation.
🔴 Important events and milestones for Tokyo 2020.
🍀 Important developments and milestones for Games volunteers (“Field Cast”).
*Japanese personal names are written with the family name before the given name.
*Click/tap on the image thumbnail to enlarge the image.
*Special thanks to Games volunteer and staff friends who contributed photos.
*To correct any errors in this chronology, contact us.
January 11, 2022: The hinoki cypress lumber provided by Nagasaki Prefecture for the Olympic Village’s now-disassembled Village Plaza returns to Nagasaki, arriving in Isahaya. A local wood processing company will transform the lumber into benches (1.1 meter wide) to be installed at the JR Nagasaki shinkansen station, gyms, parks, and other public facilities in the prefecture. Local college students will also volunteer to help make the benches. Nagasaki Prefecture’s wood came from the cities of Isahaya, Omura, and Unzen. This is only one example of how the wood will be reused while many other cities in all 47 prefectures get back their wood from Tokyo 2020.
January 12, 2022: Near Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium where Olympic baseball and softball was held, Fukushima Azuma Gymnasium (福島県福島市のあづま総合体育館) opens the Tokyo 2020 Games Memorial showcase exhibiting about 50 items related to Olympic baseball and softball. They include autographed uniforms from players, the first base and softballs used in games, and local crafts (official merchandise) bearing the Tokyo 2020 emblem.
January 24, 2022: Mayor of Fukuoka announces that due to the spread of the omicron variant, FINA will postpone the 19th FINA World Championships 2022 to 2023. It was scheduled to be held on May 13–29, 2022 in Fukuoka, Japan. It was to have competitions in swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, artistic swimming, and open water swimming. About 2,400 participants from 190 countries and 500,000 spectators were to be expected.
January 21, 2022: In another example of reusing the wood from the Olympic Village’s disassembled Village Plaza, 204 pieces of Yamada hinoki cypress lumber (4 tons) arrived back in Seiyo, Ehime Prefecture. The wood had been used in the Village Plaza’s photo studio and bank. It will now be reused for the reconstruction of the JR Unomachi Station building (JR Yosan Line) in the city and in other local public facilities.
January 31, 2022: While Japan joins the diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022, TOCOG President Hashimoto Seiko and TOCOG CEO Muto Toshiro depart Haneda Airport for Beijing to attend the Opening Ceremony. Japan Olympic Committee President Yamashita Yasuhiro and Japan Paralympic Committee President Mori Kazuyuki also attend Beijing 2022. Japan’s Olympic delegation to Beijing 2022 is 262, including 124 athletes. They hope to win more than the 13 medals won at Pyeongchang 2018.
February 1, 2022: Former Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro dies at age 89. While governor, he bid twice for the Summer Olympics. The first time was for the 2016 Summer Olympics which went to Rio de Janeiro. However, the second bid was successful for the Summer 2020 Olympics.
February 3, 2022: At the IOC Session held in Beijing, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are declared a success in TOCOG’s final report to the IOC. TOCOG is represented by TOCOG President Hashimoto Seiko and CEO Muto Toshiro. After the session, Hashimoto Seiko is named the winner of the World Trophy at the IOC’s 2021 Women and Sport Awards. https://olympics.com/ioc/news/tokyo-2020-reflects-on-global-success-with-games-legacy-already-inspiring-future-generations
February 4 to 20, 2022: Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are held in China without overseas spectators. Domestic spectators are also mostly banned with no tickets for sale to the public. Only invited guests can spectate. Beijing is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games.
February 11, 2022: Ayumu Hirano wins the gold medal for the halfpipe at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, only six months after he competed in skateboarding at Tokyo 2020 (did not make the finals). He becomes the fifth Japanese athlete to compete in both the summer nad winter Olympics.
February 20, 2022: Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal in the former Olympic Village that served as the NOC/NPC Services Centre closes to be demolished from July 2022 to April 2023. A new msedium-size passenger ship terminal will be built on the same site.
March 4 to 13, 2022: Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games to be held in China without overseas spectators.
March 6, 2022: At Tokyo Marathon 2021 held in 2022, among the 25,000 runners from the public, some runners wore their Tokyo 2020 volunteer uniform. It had been three years since the public was allowed to run in the marathon. In 2020, Tokyo Marathon was limited to only elite runners, and in 2021, the marathon was postponed twice and never held until this day in 2022. (Tokyo Marathon 2022 was canceled.)
March 23, 2022: Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture, which hosted Tokyo 2020 baseball and softball games, opens a new display case near Gate 7 (from Hamasuta Entrance intersection) to show Tokyo 2020 memorabilia. It is to show future generations that the stadium held the gold medal matches for both baseball and softball which were both won by Japan. The display case exhibits uniforms signed by baseball and softball Olympians and items used during the games. Free admission. There is also a nameplate commemorating the gold medal matches near the elevator near the Kannai Station South Exit intersection.
March 29, 2022: The official Tokyo 2020 Paralympics documentary film is broadcast from 12 midnight to 1:40 a.m. in Japan on NHK TV General (Sogo channel 1). The movie was jointly produced by NHK and the IPC. It will later be released with English subtitles on the IPC’s website.
Beautiful imagery and great storytelling of Paralympians from different countries and sports. The athletes were interviewed in their native language and shown competing. They explained about their disability, how they overcame it, and their family’s overwhelming support. Very inspiring stories even though not all sports were covered.
April 29, 2022: Sea Forest Waterway reopens for competitions and public use.
May 20, 2022: IOC’s Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair, John Coates, presents the Commission’s final report to the IOC Session. It outlines Tokyo 2020’s key achievements and positive impact.
May 25, 2022: Tokyo 2020 official film titled, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Side:A is screened at the Festival de Cannes 2022 (Cannes Film Festival) (Salle Bunuel) in France. Director Kawase Naomi attends to introduce the film.
June 3 and 24, 2022: Two Tokyo 2020 official films directed by Kawase Naomi (河瀨直美) are released at Toho Cinema Theaters nationwide in Japan. The films were made from 5,000 hours of footage. The first film titled, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Side:A is released on June 3, and the second film titled, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Side:B is released on June 24. They are shown in theaters until early or mid-July.
Side:A centers on human interest stories of some Olympic athletes. Side:B shows mainly the negative aspects and behind-the-scenes of Tokyo 2020. The pandemic, TOCOG’s discussions on the postponement, Mori Yoshiro’s sexist remarks, empty stadiums, Olympic protesters, the failure of Japan’s Men’s 400m relay race, and many talking heads. A depressing film reminding us of mostly the negative things about Tokyo 2020.
Both documentary films have no underlying storyline and no narration. Mostly a disjointed string of video clips. Hardly a collection of Tokyo 2020 highlights. Not even Japan’s Ohashi Yui who won an unprecedented two gold medals in swimming appeared in the films. Carissa Moore, surfing’s first female gold medalist, did not make the cut either.
The films neglect to cover most Olympic sports. Only the following sports appear in the films: athletics, competitive swimming, badminton, women’s softball, 3×3 basketball, gymnastics (mainly artistic), judo (longest feature), karate, skateboarding, surfing, and triathlon. The less popular sports in need of more publicity do not appear. A survey of 34 Japanese sports federations conducted by NHK on July 23, 2022 indicated that over 70 percent thought that their sport either did not see an increase or saw a decrease in players after Tokyo 2020. The pandemic and not having spectators were cited as the main reasons. The films were a lost PR opportunity for these sports.
Although Side:B was hyped to include the perspective of Tokyo 2020 volunteers (Field Cast and City Cast), volunteers are not spotlighted at all in both films. They only appear briefly in the background.
No depiction of how the organizer, staff, and volunteers overcame the pandemic and other hurdles to stage a successful Games. Instead of scenes of the Japanese public cheering the Games, Olympic protesters appear multiple times. Beautiful and inspiring sports imagery is almost lacking completely. Stark contrast to the inspiring and moving Tokyo 2020 Paralympics official film that was broadcast on TV in Japan in March 2022 (not released in theaters).
At the box office, both Side:A and Side:B did poorly in Japan with almost empty movie theaters (except for the premier show on opening day in Shinjuku).
June 18, 2022: Oi Hockey Stadium reopens for competitions and public use with a slew of demo sports for the public. They include field hocky, lacross, touch rugby, and flying disc.
June 21, 2022: TOCOG publishes its final financial report on its revenues and expenditures and the overall financial results of Tokyo 2020. It achieved a balanced budget of ¥640.4 billion (USD 5.8 billion). Total Games expenditures were ¥1,423.8 billion (USD 13.0 billion). Most of it was spent on venues: ¥864.9 billion. It cost ¥282.7 billion to dismantle the temporary venues. For COVID-19 measures, ¥35.3 billion was spent.
June 30, 2022: TOCOG officially disbands after eight years of activity from Jan. 24, 2014. TOCOG’s website is deleted and domain name (tokyo2020.jp) is disabled (redirected to olympics.com).
July 8, 2022: Former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (67) is shot on the street while giving an endorsement campaign speech near Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara for a candidate in his political party. He is pronounced dead later in the day at Nara Medical University Hospital after efforts to revive him failed.
Abe was one of Tokyo 2020’s main proponents, serving as the Supreme Advisor on the Tokyo bid committee and TOCOG. He may be best remembered for appearing as Super Mario at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics to promote Tokyo 2020, and his stunning announcement of Tokyo 2020’s postponement. To mourn his death, the Olympic flag was flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days. Amid protests by opposition parties, a state funeral for Abe is scheduled for September 27, 2002 at the Budokan.
July 21, 2022: Former TOCOG executive board member Takahashi Haruyuki (78) is reported to be under investigation for bribery. His consultancy firm in Tokyo received ¥1 million monthly from 2017 to 2021 from Aoki Holdings Inc., a men’s apparel company. The payments totaled about ¥45 million as part of a consultancy contract with Aoki. Aoki later became a Tokyo 2020 “supporter” in 2018 to sell apparel bearing the Olympic emblem and staff uniforms.
Under TOCOG rules and Japan’s criminal code, board members are deemed to be public servants and not allowed to accept cash or gifts that could be deemed as bribes. Takahashi states that he never gave any favors to Aoki in return for the money and that he never lobbied for Aoki to to be selected to sell licensed Tokyo 2020 products. Aoki declines to comment on the matter.
July 22, 2022: On the eve of the 1st anniversary of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko tells the press that TMG wants the permanent venues to be easily and effectively used by Tokyoites for a long time since their taxes were spent. She believes that the venues are valuable assets for residents to maintain their physical health and relax themselves.
July 23, 2022: Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre reopens in the morning for competitions and public use starting with the “Amazing Canoe Slalom Summer Festa” reopening event. A festival of boats and toy duck race graced the venue for the public. It was part of the Tokyo 2020 Games One Year Anniversary Project.
July 23, 2022: The 1st anniversary of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is commemorated at the former Olympic Stadium (Japan National Stadium 新国立競技場) in Tokyo with a public event named “Tokyo Forward.” During the day, the stadium had real and virtual sports activities including BMX and Paralympic rowing.
From 5:00 p.m. to 6:40 p.m., led by official mascots Miraitowa and Someity and Tokyo and sports officials, about 1,000 Japanese Olympic and Paralympic athletes and other people paraded around the athletic track followed by a ceremony. The ceremony was filled mostly with speeches by Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, former TOCOG President Hashimoto Seiko, Japan Sports Agency Commissioner Murofushi Koji, IOC President Thomas Bach (video), IPC President Andrew Parsons (video), and Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet (video). Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) President Yamashita Yasuhiro was also to attend, but tested positive for COVID-19 and was absent. The event climaxes with a relay run. Attendance was 15,000.
July 23, 2022: NHK reports that according to a survey it took on 34 Japanese sports federations, 44 percent replied that their income declined after Tokyo 2020, 38 percent had no change, and only 12 percent saw their income increase. The decrease is due to corporate sponsors who ended their sponsorship contracts or pulled out or halved their sponsorship money. The pandemic took its toll on companies. Surprisingly, wrestling is one sport seeing fewer post-Olympic sponsors and less money despite their five gold medals at Tokyo 2020. Cycling (BMX) is seeing 40 percent less money this year and the two Japanese women’s sailing Olympians lost their sole sponsor after the Games. They have approached 50 companies, but no takers yet.
Less popular sports need to publicize and popularize their sport more. Then the money should follow.
August 17, 2022: Former TOCOG executive board member Takahashi Haruyuki (78), the central figure in the Tokyo 2020 bribing scandal, is arrested and jailed for receiving bribes from Olympic sponsors Aoki Holdings, Daiko Advertising, ADK Marketing Solutions, and Sun Arrow. In return, the sponsors were given preferential treatment. He denies all charges. (Later released on bail in Dec. 2022.)
September 2022: Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, the son of Kadokawa founder, is arrested for bribing Takahashi Haruyuki with ¥69 million. Kadokawa was an Olympic sponsor which published the Games programs and guidebooks.
October 19, 2022: The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the Japan Fair Trade Commission start conducting searches of advertising companies such as ADK Holdings, Dentsu, and Hakuhodo suspected of big rigging contracts for Tokyo 2020 test events held between 2018 and 2021.
December 26, 2022: Former TOCOG executive board member Takahashi Haruyuki (78) is released on ¥80 million bail after spending about four months in Tokyo Detention House.
January 28, 2023: Several company executives at ad agency Dentsu admit collusion over bid rigging for contracts for Tokyo 2020 test events in 2018. They claim they were not aware it was illegal. The rights to plan 56 test events in 2018 were awarded to Dentsu and Hakuhodo Inc. and a consortium.
February 8, 2023: Prosecutors arrested former TOCOG operations executive Mori Yasuo, Cerespo Co Managing Director Kanata Yoshiji, and two other executives from ad agency Dentsu and Fuji Creative Corp. for suspected bid rigging of Tokyo 2020 test event contracts.
February 28, 2023: Mori Yasuo, former TOCOG operation executive, former Dentsu executive Henmi Koji, and five other officials from six companies, including Cerespo Co. and Fuji Creative Corp., are indicted on charges of bid rigging for Tokyo 2020 test event and competition contracts worth about ¥43.7 billion.
April 11, 2023: Due to the bribery scandals, Japanese public support for Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics is fading. Exit polls by Hokkaido Shimbun showed 60% of Sapporo voters opposing the bid. A Jiji Press poll showed 53% opposing. Sapporo Mayor Akimoto Katsuhiro, who supports Sapporo’s Winter Games bid, is still re-elected on April 9, 2023.
April 21, 2023: Aoki Hironori (84), former chairman of men’s clothier Aoki Holdings, becomes the first person to be convicted in the Tokyo 2020 bribery scandal. He receives a prison sentence of two and a half years suspended for four years by Tokyo District Court for paying ¥28 million in bribes over more than two years to former TOCOG executive Takahashi Haruyuki for being selected as the official Japanese athlete uniform supplier. Two other Aoki officials are also convicted, receiving lesser sentences.
May 18, 2023: The Tokyo 2020 gymnastics and boccia venue reopens as Ariake GYM-EX, a new exhibition center operated by nearby Tokyo Big Sight.
May 11, 2023: Hisamitsu Shigeharu (64), former executive at ad agency ADK Holdings, is sentenced by Tokyo District Court to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years. His former assistant Tada Toshiaki (61) is also given the same sentence for bribing former TOCOG executive Takahashi Haruyuki. Both were arrested together with former ADK Holdings President Ueno Shinichi in October 2022. In a court hearing in February 2023, Ueno admitted paying over ¥10 million to Takahashi.
June 6, 2023: Former present of toy maker Sun Arrow Inc. Sekiguchi Taiji (50) and his father former company executive Sekiguchi Yoshihiro, are sentenced to one year in prison suspended for three years for paying ¥2 million in bribes from January 2020 to April 2021 to former TOCOG executive Takahashi Haruyuki. Sun Arrow sold stuffed toys of the Tokyo 2020 official mascots.
July 14–30, 2023: After being postponed twice due to the postponed Tokyo 2020 and then the spread of COVID-19, 20th FINA World Championships Fukuoka 2022 are finally held with spectators.
August 20–November 19, 2023: Tokyo Forward – Tokyo 2020 Legacy Exhibition (TOKYO2020レガシー展) is held at the former Tokyo Sports Square (renamed SusHi Tech Square) in Yurakucho, Tokyo. It features various memorabilia of Tokyo 2020 including torch relay torches (touchable), uniforms, water polo balls, baseballs, volleyballs, cardboard bed, awards ceremony podium (for selfies), official mascot statues, VR boxing, and cyber boccia. Free admission.
October 11, 2023: Sapporo Mayor Akimoto Katsuhiro and Japanese Olympic Committee President Yamashita Yasuhiro announce the decision to abandon the bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sapporo, Hokkaido. They cite Tokyo 2020’s corruption and bid-rigging scandals tarnishing the image of the Games. They may instead bid for the 2023 Winter Games or later.
July 26 – August 11, 2024: Paris 2024 Olympic Summer Games to be held in Paris, France.
August 28 – September 8, 2024: Paris 2024 Paralympic Summer Games to be held in Paris, France.
2025 World Athletics Championships are to be held at Tokyo’s National Stadium (Olympic Stadium).
February 6–22, 2026: Milano Cortina 2026 Olympic Winter Games to be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
March 6–15, 2026: Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games to be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Aug 22 – September 3, 2028: Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Summer Games (LA28) to be held in Los Angeles, California, USA.
・Various Japanese news sources: Kyodo, Yomiuri Shimbun, etc.
・https://olympics.com (Many referenced Tokyo 2020 articles already deleted.)
・東京2020 第47回理事会 資料 Report by TOCOG (As of 2021.09.28)
・東京2020大会の振り返りについて (Tokyo 2020 Review by TOCOG) Dec. 22, 2021
・Facebook Group: 2020 Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics Volunteer Info