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Yasuhiro Yamashita took the office of President of the NOC Japan in July this year to succeed Tsunekazu Takeda who had been leading the Olympic Movement at the national level for 18 years.

In less than a year, Japan will celebrate the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Olympic Stadium will welcome  athletes and sports loving people from around the world in the exactly same spot, at the very center of Tokyo, as it did at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yamashita-san is a Judoka and probably the most popular Olympic athlete when it comes to people aged 60 or over in Japan. Because his Olympic gold medal winning performance in the Judo open category at the 1984 Los Angeles Games is still counted as one of the most memorable moments in the modern Olympic history by numerous sports fans.

He retired from Judo competitions after recording 203 consecutive wins in less than 8 years and being awarded the Japanese National Prize of Honor. He is currently the president of the All Japan Judo Federation and also an executive committee member of the International Judo Federation.

Yamashita-san said, “I know there are many ways to contribute the Olympic Movement and that you should not place too much value on winning Olympic medals. However it is widely recognized and I myself strongly believe, that the host NOC team should be highly competitive in order to make the Olympic Games exciting and successful.”

NOC Japan set a goal to win 30 gold medals in Tokyo 2020 Games. “I know it is very ambitious and challenging since we won 16 golds in Rio de Janeiro 3 years ago. But you never know what sort of advantages we will have when we compete on our home turf,” he smiled.

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