The closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was held at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 8. The athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics from all around the world made desperate efforts to win the games. Many of the Japanese athletes obtained good results and brought joy to the Japanese people who watched the games on TV at home. I would like to congratulate in particular the gold, silver and bronze medalists on their victory, and I would also like to express my sympathy for those who could not win the medals or dropped out of the games, and wish them good luck in their future.
Holding the Olympics during a pandemic was really a big challenge to all the athletes, the management and operation staff, and the volunteers in Japan. They had to battle against the coronavirus infections every day. However, they endured the struggle, and made possible the safe and secure Olympics. As a result, the major goal of the Tokyo Olympics, “the reconstruction of Japan through a safe and secure Olympics” was achieved, taking all necessary measurement to prevent the new coronavirus infections from spreading out.
Many Japanese people had opposed hosting the Tokyo Olympics, favoring a postponement for another year or outright cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan government—the host city of the Tokyo Olympics—also struggled against the coronavirus infections. However, I am glad that Japan hosted the Tokyo Olympics as planned. Japan accomplished the safe and secure Tokyo Olympics, and we can be proud of it. On July 4, three weeks before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, I announced in the column of the Sankei Shimbun my support for holding the Tokyo Olympics. (The article was titled “Let’s support the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics”).
We have so far received many messages of congratulations on the success of the Tokyo Olympics and messages of gratitude to the Japanese people for their tremendous efforts made for the hosting of the Olympics. I would like to celebrate this success together with all the Japanese people and welcome the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympics which will begin on August 24 with even more vigor.