Moving on with Gratitude

‘ARIGATO’ Host Towns

Aired: October 8, 2021 (UTC)


Tokyo 2020 was held during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. 33 local municipalities cheered for the athletes from countries/regions that supported them after the earthquake and did their best to engage in exchanges.
We focus on three municipalities.

A visit from Prince William after the earthquake led to Motomiya of Fukushima becoming the Host Town for the U.K. We look at the enthusiasm of people cheering remotely for the athletes amid the pandemic.

Ofunato of Iwate hosted the U.S. to show gratitude for the support of U.S. rescue teams. They engaged in exchanges through music and sang the U.S. national anthem relay-style to cheer for the athletes. Track-and field events held before the Games concluded with online exchanges during Tokyo 2020.

Ties between Sendai of Miyagi and Italy began in the 17th century. During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the city hosted the Italian team. Sendai hosted their Paralympic sitting volleyball team to deepen ties. We focus on this friendship.

We look at the various ‘ARIGATO’ Host Town initiatives that were implemented, and the spirit that lives on.


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