The diversity of the arts is another allure of Tokyo. With regard to music, there’s no other city in the orld with nine symphony orchestras.
Are there as many as nine? But yes, you’re right. In terms of the visual arts too, there’s great variation. Tokyo has everything—
from a museum displaying the works of Yayoi Kusama, a globally popular modern artist, to the Edo-Tokyo Museum with its collection of famous ukiyo-e woodblock prints.
Yes, there really is a great range on offer, from those with a long history to those at the cutting edge of contemporary culture. You could call Tokyo a city of entertainment, with both depth and diversity.
That’s right. Many people also enjoy Tokyo’s subculture, like anime and cosplay. Then there are all the fantastic traditional crafts. We’re promoting the Kirari Project to ensure the preservation of those traditional skills.
Japan created the ‘national living treasure’ system in order to ensure that traditional crafts, skills and the performing arts don’t die out, but those traditions haven’t been passed on in some nearby countries. In that respect, the Kirari Project sounds like a really important project.
‘Edo vegetables’ is also a culture of Tokyo. Could you explain what this is？
Edo, the former name for Tokyo, had a perfect ecosystem of production, consumption and recycling, and various kinds of vegetables were grown. There were seed shops right in the center of town, agriculture was an established industry, and there was a self-sufficient lifestyle.
The year 2020 will see the Olympics and Paralympics held in Tokyo, and visitors from across the nation and the world flocking to the city. Can you tell us about how you’re preparing for it？
We’re preparing in a number of different ways. The new National Stadium that’s being constructed with the Japanese government is a splendid stadium built with lots of wood, which is perfect for the 21st century. As I said before, while focusing on the Olympics, we’re also giving plenty of attention to the Paralympics too. We are not just making eco-friendly competition venues, but also advancing efforts to increase the number of accommodations where the athletes with disabilities and their upporters can stay. We want to leave a legacy of a Tokyo where people can live comfortably, safely, and in diverse and smart ways.
I think it’s splendid that you want ‘kindness’ to be the greatest legacy of the 2020 Games. Building venues are important, but most important of all is the spirit of kindness.
We’d like the athletes to take home new records and the visitors to Tokyo to take home great memories. With an eye on the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the future beyond the Games, we wish to further enhance Tokyo’s various attractions, promote these attractions using various opportunities and as one of the world’s most greatest tourist destinations, welcome even more people from all over the world.
|Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Tokyo Metropolitan University
One of Japan’s foremost international economists.
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Tokyo Metropolitan University and Professor Emeritus of Keio University. His specialisms range from labour economics,economic policy and the Japanese economy to international management and nternational relations. He has taken up various prestigious roles, such as special advisor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on tourism policy, the government and member of government councils such as the National Councils for fiscal and tax policies. He also has a deep connection with the arts, serving as president of the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra, and is himself an exhibited painter. In the previous Tokyo Olympics, he worked as a top-level interpreter among a few thousand student interpreters..
|The Governor of Tokyo
Yuriko Koike is the 20th governor of Tokyo. A graduate of Cairo University, she was a prominent news anchor before entering national politics in 1992, where she held major posts including Minister of the Environment and Minister of Defense. The “Cool Biz” campaign that she advocated as the Minister of the Environment won the support of people around Japan, and is now firmly rooted in the summer lifestyle of Japanese business people. She is now dedicating her efforts to deliver a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will serve as a springboard for the creation of a new Tokyo. In April 2017, she was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.