The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) have unveiled special wooden emblems crafted from timber donated by municipalities across Japan as part of its “Operation BATON” sustainability programme.
BATON stands for “Building Athletes’ Village with Timber Of the Nation,” an initiative whereby buildings in the Village Plaza of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are to be constructed using timber from sustainable sources in participating municipalities. The emblems are designed to highlight Tokyo 2020’s focus on sustainability and to symbolise their vision of “Unity in Diversity.” They will be displayed in the centre of the Athletes’ Village during the Games.
Tokyo 2020 Vice President Toshiaki Endo commented: “Engaging the whole country and prioritising environmental sustainability is a core pledge of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The BATON project is based on these principles, and is the first initiative of the kind in the history of Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Hajime Furuta, Governor of Gifu prefecture commented: “From Gifu prefecture, where 81 per cent of the land is covered with forest, we will donate cedar and cypress wood. To use a Japanese expression, I feel honoured and thrilled to literally ‘stand on a cypress stage’ – meaning to stand on a big stage. Gifu prefecture looks forward to contributing to the success of the Games.”
Heita Kawakatsu, Governor of Shizuoka prefecture, said: “Two thirds of [the] Shizuoka prefecture is covered with forest. We will donate hinoki from the foothills of Mount Fuji and other kinds of timber from the Minami Alps, the Tenryu Birin Forest and the Izu Peninsula. People in Shizuoka have cultivated beautiful forests for many generations, and we are now pursuing various initiatives to ensure Shizuoka city remains the ‘Mori no Miyako’ (the forest capital).”
Added Shuji Oki, Deputy Director General of the Forestry Agency: “I am glad that we will have an opportunity to showcase our nation’s traditional wood resources in this way, and I hope that locally-sourced timber wood supplies will be used more widely, not only at the New National Stadium and the Athletes’ Village Plaza, but also at other future projects throughout the nation. I am looking forward to the success of the BATON project.”