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Tokyo 2020 ‘Arigato’ Host Town Initiative Panel Discussion

Japan House Los Angeles, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Level 5, in Hollywood, will host a Tokyo 2020 “Arigato” Host Town Initiative panel discussion on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games approach, the world looks forward to the showcase of skill, talent and athleticism that will gather in Japan. To embody the true Olympic spirit of international cooperation and community, the Japanese government has launched the Host Town Initiative, which invites visiting athletes and citizens from around the world as guests to their respective host towns and cities throughout Japan, where they can experience different sporting, cultural and educational activities and strengthen these ties throughout the Games and beyond.

The Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will introduce the “Arigato” Host Town Initiative, which was established in 2019 to promote international exchange and demonstrate the revitalization efforts made in disaster-stricken areas following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

The secretariat will lead conversations between representatives from participating cities of the “Arigato” Host Town Initiative and special guests.

Baseball legend Hisanori Takahashi will highlight the return of baseball to the Summer Olympic program.

Mary Zunick, the cultural affairs manager of Visit Hot Springs, will discuss the special sister-city relationship that has prospered over the years between between Hot Springs, Ark., and the designated “Arigato” host town of Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture.

Also in attendance will be Hanamaki Mayor Toichi Ueda and students from Hanamaki East High School, making this event a truly memorable experience meant to inspire the spirit of international cooperation and exchange for future generations to come.

Panel guests will bridge the connections between the U.S. and Japan, spotlighting the “Arigato” host towns and their mission, as they look forward to welcoming and supporting American Olympic athletes next summer.

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