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Olympic and Paralympic Education in Tokyo
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Olympic and Paralympic Education in Tokyo

Making the Olympic and Paralympic Games a great opportunity for the growth of children towards the future

Globalization is progressing in various fields such as academics, culture and economy, to name a few. In order for Tokyo to further develop towards the future, it is critically necessary to realise an inclusive society in which different cultures and values are socially accepted and rights of diverse people are universally respected. Further, in order to achieve such society, it is important for children to acquire profound international senses including the ability to resolve challenges through cooperation with others with different values, open-mindedness to try to actively communicate with people from other countries,and possession of the solid identity as Japanese citizens.
On the other hand, recent surveys on young people’s awareness indicate that the ratio of positive attitude to questions regarding the feelings of self-respect or the interest in volunteer activities was lower compared to other countries. The number of students going abroad to study has also been decreasing over the past few years. Apparently, there is a gap between the desirable image of children living in the coming era and the reality, which is one of the major challenges for the primary and secondary education in Japan.
The past Olympic and Paralympic Games have brought in significant social changes in the host cities and countries. They have especially inspired young people and children, giving them courage and excitement. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Its aim is to help the harmonized development of human beings with sports.
Because such spirit also relates to school education, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education considers the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (hereinafter referred to as the “Tokyo 2020 Games” ) as a golden opportunity for the lives of children, and decided to provide the Olympic and Paralympic Education Programme in Tokyo (hereinafter referred to as the “Education Programme” ) in all schools.
Through the education, initiatives to further develop the advantages and overcome the weak points of individual children in Tokyo are being securely promoted to develop human resources that can contribute to the international community while also being responsible for the further growth of Tokyo and Japan. In addition, irreplaceable legacies that should support the lives of children thereafter spiritually and physically will be created through the experiences of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Basic Ideas behind The Olympic and Paralympic Education Programme in Tokyo

The Education Programme will be provided in all public schools in Tokyo

[Goal image of the personality development]

  1. (1) Person who esteems him/herself and has the willingness and mindset to achieve his/her best with his/her own goals
  2. (2) Person who familiarizes him/herself with sports and maintains a healthy balance of intellectual, moral and physical elements
  3. (3) Person who has self-awareness and pride as a Japanese person and has an international sense to study and take actions voluntarily
  4. (4) Person who respects diversity and can contribute to the realization of an inclusive society and the peace and development of the international community


  1. (1) Make all children engaged in the Games
    Every child will be engaged in the Tokyo 2020 Games in one way or another according to their developmental stage and interest.
  2. (2) Put emphasis on learning through experiences and activities
    Learning is deepened not only by acquiring knowledge but also through actual experience.
  3. (3) Develop education in a well-planned and continuous manner
    Provide education in a well-planned and continuous manner envisaging the Tokyo 2020 Games and further beyond in the future.

[Participating schools]

The Education Programme will be carried out in all public schools; kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, “secondary” schools (schools combining junior high and high school education), and schools for children with special needs.
(Number of schools : 2,323 ; Number of kindergarten and school students : 978,549 ; as of May 2018)


The Education Program will be continuously improved throughout the period of five years from the academic year 2016 to 2020.

Implementing “4 × 4” Initiatives

The Education Programme will be promoted by combining the four themes,including the values and spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic and the three pillars of the Olympic movement, and four actions.

The image of 'Implementing “4 × 4” Initiatives'

[Development of educational activities through “4 × 4” initiatives]

Initiatives to allow children to acquire basic knowledge and skills so that a foundation for learning about the four themes is cultivated ( “learn” ). Then, this will lead to initiatives to have children actually spectate ( “watch” ), or experience and exchange ( “do” ) so that the children can become interested and able to resolve questions and problems felt by themselves. Further, through initiatives for as many children as possible to support the Games and other events, it is aimed to foster voluntary spirit and the mindset of social contribution ( “support” ). Multifaceted education activities will be provided by approaching the four themes through such four actions.
The 4 × 4 initiatives expand meaningful opportunities for children by securing close collaboration and cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, national government, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and other relevant organizations and stakeholders.

Five prioritized mindsets to acquire

By implementing the “4 × 4 initiatives,” the following five mindsets in particular are aimed to be developed with higher priority.

[Five prioritized mindsets]

The image of 'Volunteer spirit'

(1) Volunteer spirit

Especially through the activities to “support” among the four actions, volunteer spirit such as willingness to contribute to society or consideration for others, and at the same time increase the feelings of self-esteem of children.
The image of 'Volunteer spirit'
The image of 'Understanding for the people with impairments'

(2) Understanding for the people with impairments

In order to realize an inclusive society where people live together irrespective of impairments, a barrier-free mindset of respecting diversity and understanding impairments is instilled among children through studies and experience of understanding people with an impairment or through exchange with people with impairments.
The image of 'Understanding for the people with impairments'
The image of 'Aspiration for sports'

(3) Aspiration for sports

By allowing children to experience various kinds of sports, develop the mindset of fair play and teamwork, and let them grow into a people who are healthy both physically and mentally.
The image of 'Aspiration for sports'
The image of 'Self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen'

(4) Self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen

Allow children to have self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen by allowing them to fully understand the good parts of Japan and Tokyo, and by learning and acquiring normative consciousness, public-mindedness, etc.
The image of 'Self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen'
The image of 'Rich international senses'

(5) Rich international senses

Foster the mindset to try to actively communicate with people around the world and cultivate profound international senses to develop the ability to accept the diversity of the world.
The image of 'Rich international senses'

Four action programmes to cultivate the five prioritized mindsets

Schools will facilitate the growth of children by utilizing four projects.

[Four programmes to cultivate the four prioritized mindsets]

(1) Tokyo Youth Volunteers

The image of 'Tokyo Youth Volunteers'
This is a programme to reinforce each school’s efforts to cultivate the spirit of dedication and feelings of consideration for others. Volunteer activities are implemented according to developmental stages.
Examples of activities :
clean-up of the region and volunteer activities at regional events, sports events and welfare facilities for people with impairments or the elderly.
Mindset mainly nurtured :
volunteer spirit, understanding for people with impairments.
The image of 'Tokyo Youth Volunteers'

(2) Smile Project

The image of 'Smile Project'
A project for children to improve their understanding on the personalities and characters of each other, and to develop feelings of consideration for others will be implemented.
Examples of activities :
spectating and experiencing sports for the people with impairments, and exchange between schools for special needs education and regional schools through sports, etc.
Mindset mainly nurtured :
volunteer spirit,understanding for people with impairments, aspiration for sports.
The image of 'Smile Project'

(3) Dream and Future Project

The image of 'Dream and Future Project'
Activities are implemented where athletes such as Olympians and Paralympians are dispatched to schools and have direct interactions with children. Allow children to realise the remarkableness of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and increase interest in sports, while also having them develop willingness to endeavor for their dreams and overcome difficulties.
Mindset mainly nurtured :
volunteer spirit, understanding for peop le wi th impai rments, aspiration for spor ts, self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen, rich international senses.
The image of 'Dream and Future Project'

(4) Global Friendship Project

The image of 'Global Friendship Project'
Implement activities to learn extensively about the countries and regions scheduled to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Games, and to develop them into actual international exchanges. Through these activities, children learn about various races, languages, cultures and history on Earth to understand the diversity of the world, and at the same time understand the importance of respecting different values.
Examples of activities :
international understanding education mainly focusing on research studies, interaction with embassies and students from abroad, interaction with foreigners living in Japan, exchange of emails and letters with schools abroad, mutual exchange among children.
Mindset mainly nurtured :
Self-awareness and pride as a Japanese citizen, rich international senses.
The image of 'Global Friendship Project'

Three legacies for the future of children

The following three valuable legacies are aimed to be achieved.

[Three intended legacies realised by the Education Programme]

(1) Lifelong legacies that remains in the body and soul of each child

Legacies are left for children so that and excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are remembered by them, and that such memories will help themselves in their lives thereafter.

(2) Develop initiatives at school as educational activities that can be continued for long time even after the Games

Initiatives such as understanding for diversity, international exchange, volunteer activities, etc. are developed so that they are implemented continuously even after the Games.

(3) Realise inclusive society and mutual help through efforts that also involve households and regional community

The formulation of volunteer spirit and efforts for understanding people with impairments will be diffused also to households and regional communities to have favorable influence not only among children but also among adults, to lead to the formulation of inclusive society and mutual help.

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