Special Address by Yuriko Koike

The following is the summary of a speech that was part of the 2018 Annual Conference.


Distinguished Speaker

  • Yuriko Koike, Governor, Tokyo, Japan


Governor Koike began her remarks by emphasizing how the U.S.- Japan relationship underpins politics, economics and relationships with other nations. She agreed with the importance of the theme of the conference, which was to invest in the future now.

Governor Koike noted that Tokyo is preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games. The Games are not only an opportunity to showcase Tokyo as a sustainable city, but are also important for Tokyo’s growth.

Governor Koike described the effort to prepare for the Games with the marital arts motto, “mind, skill, body.” When those three are aligned, goals can be achieved. First, mind, or shin, refers to changing the mind of people. This has taken place in campaigns to support changes in work culture, place women in decision-making positions, and spread volunteerism before the Games. Another example would be the medal project, where metal from used devices are recycled to make the medals for the Games. Second, skill, or gi, refers to technology. Tokyo aims to turn the Olympic Village into a hydrogen society. To further reduce Tokyo’s environmental footprint, Tokyo will raise its targets for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), so that they account for 50% of cars sold by 2030. Tokyo will also use cutting edge technology such as ICT and multilingual robots to welcome visitors. Lastly, body, or tai, refers to the structure supporting the creation of a sustainable city: human resources. In preparation for the Games, Tokyo is implementing the Global Awareness Project, so that students can learn about the athletes who are participating from other countries.

Looking beyond the 2020 Games, Governor Koike mentioned that she hopes to attract talent from abroad and make the city Asia’s leading financial hub. Tokyo Vision, which advances a business friendly environment and supports overseas businesses that wish to enter the Japanese market, was announced last year. In closing, Governor Koike expressed her hope that Japan and the United States will continue to lead the world in an effort to create sustainable societies.


Click here to see the video of the speech.