Games Summary:

In 2020, the capital city of Japan will host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. This will be the second time that the Olympic Games will take place in Tokyo, which previously welcomed the world in 1964. Tokyo had also been selected to host the 1940 Olympic Games which were later cancelled due to World War II.

Tokyo will be the fifth city overall, but the first in Asia, to host the Olympic Summer Games more than once, joining Athens, Paris, London and Los Angeles. Japan has also hosted two editions of the Olympic Winter Games, Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998, making it the third country, behind the United States and France, to host at least four Olympic Games.

Canada's Roger Jackson (right) and George Hungerford celebrate their gold medal win in the rowing event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (CP Photo/COC)

Canada’s Roger Jackson (right) and George Hungerford celebrate their gold medal win in the men’s pair rowing event at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. (CP Photo/COC)

The Games will open on July 24, continuing through to August 9.

Tokyo earned the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games at the 125th IOC Session on September 7, 2013, receiving 60 votes to defeat Istanbul’s 36 votes in the third round. Madrid had been eliminated in the second round. Four years earlier, Tokyo had finished third in voting for the 2016 Olympic Games which were awarded to Rio.

How does Team Canada qualify for Tokyo 2020?

In some sports, qualification will be based on world ranking lists that close in spring 2020. But many sports have direct qualification based on results achieved in particular events. Click to find out the sports that have qualification through the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and the sports that have qualification events throughout the rest of 2019.

Stay up to date on the sports in which Canada has earned spots for Tokyo 2020 with our official qualification tracker.

Getting to Know Japan

An archipelago comprised of four main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu), Japan sits between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula. Tokyo is on Honshu, the largest of the islands.

With a population of nearly 127 million, Japan is the 11th most populous country in the world. More than 98% of the population is ethnically Japanese. The country has the third-longest life expectancy in the world, behind only Monaco and Macau. Tokyo itself is home to more than 38 million people, making it the country’s largest city.


Japan has a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy. Since January 1989 the head of state has been Emperor Akihito. The official language of the country is Japanese. Japan’s national anthem, “Kimigayo”, was unofficial since 1883 before being adopted in 1999. The lyrics date back to at least the 10th century, making them the oldest national anthem lyrics in the world.

Japan runs on Japanese Standard Time which is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Tokyo 2020 Mascot

Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascot “Miraitowa”, left, and Paralympic mascot “Someity”, right. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Miraitowa is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascot. A traditional Japanese proverb that means to learn old things well and to acquire new knowledge from them is the origin of the mascot’s personality, combining an old-fashioned side that respects tradition and an innovative side that loves cutting-edge information and ideas. The name also reflects that, with “Mirai” meaning “future” and “Towa” meaning eternity. Highly athletic with a strong sense of justice, Miraitowa’s special skill is the ability to move anywhere instantaneously like a ninja. On the body and head is the same indigo ichimatsu pattern as the Games emblem.

Tokyo 2020 Venues

The 42 competition venues will be divided primarily into two zones, with the Olympic Village situated at the intersection of both, keeping the majority of the venues within an 8km distance.