2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

2021 commencement of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad

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2020 Summer Olympics
opening ceremony
Date23 July 2021; 7 months' time (2021-07-23)
Time20:00 - 23:00 JST (UTC+9)
LocationTokyo, Japan
Filmed byOBS on behalf of the Japan Consortium

The 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on 23 July 2021 at Olympic Stadium, Tokyo.[1] As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combine the formal ceremonial opening, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of flags, and the parade of athletes) with an artistic spectacle.

Ticket prices for the Opening Ceremony were expected to range between ¥12,000 and ¥300,000.[2]


The Committee's “Basic Policy” document includes elements to highlight the appeal of Japan and Tokyo to the world; including feedback from experts and opinions of the Japanese public.[3] The final version was released in December 2017.[4]

The Basic Policy consists of three sections:[5]

  • Positioning of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, including historical and social significance and its games vision
  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies Overall Concept, including peace, coexistence, reconstruction, future, Japan and Tokyo, athletes and involvement
  • Positioning of The Four Ceremonies, including introduction, development, diversification, and conclusion

Mansai Nomura, an actor in traditional Japanese theater, is the Chief Creative Director for the opening and closing ceremonies.[6]

Marco Balich, Balich Worldwide Shows, is the producer. He unveiled, at Spazio Campania in Milan, the first details of the inauguration of the Universiade on stage at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples on 3 July. "As Balich Worldwide Shows we are very focused on the 2019 Summer Universiade, then we will all go to Lima for the 2019 Pan American Games, so I will be involved in the production of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, in association with the Japanese advertising company Dentsu", he explained. Earlier he helped to produce some of the recent games opening ceremonies as 2006 Winter Olympics, 2014 Winter Olympics and the well-praised 2016 Summer Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.[7]

According to Inside the Games, Mario, the famous plumber who stars in numerous Nintendo games, is in line to take "centre stage" with organizers hoping to deliver a message of peace. At Rio 2016, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe dressed up as Mario in the handover segment of the Closing Ceremony. The message of peace could also be displayed by the release of paper cranes and doves. People riding in flying cars in the future might be used to highlight Japanese innovation and technology, meanwhile. This could also see hydrogen, a next-generation energy source, used as the fuel which lights the Olympic cauldron. The Japanese leg of the 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay will begin in Fukushima with some using the term "Reconstruction Olympics". Japan's fight against natural disasters could also be a theme of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, which was planned to be held at Tokyo's New National Stadium on Friday, July 24.[8]

Kaoru Sugano Dentsu's creative director for Tokyo Olympic ceremonies, resigned in January 2020 over harassment controversies.[9]

In February 2020, after announcements concerning scaling back the Tokyo marathon, Health officials have begun to question whether the Olympic opening ceremony would also be impacted.[10]

On 24 March 2020, the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee officially announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics would be delayed to 2021, and held no later than summer 2021 (marking the first time that an entire Olympics have ever been postponed).[11] On 30 March 2020, it was announced that the ceremony will take place on 23 July 2021.[12] It was also revealed that the coronavirus crisis will be mentioned at some point during the ceremony due to its significance at the games.[13]

Parade of Nations

As per the usual practice the host nations language, in this case Japanese, will determine order of countries during the parade of athletes.[14] This is different to the past times Japan has hosted the Olympics, such as during the 1998 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Nagano, countries entered in English character order.[15]

Due to the pandemic, there were concerns if athletes could attend the Opening Ceremony. In November 2020, the organizers agreed that there will be no cap on competing athletes attending the ceremony if they choose to, but there will be a maximum of six officials for each countries delegation.[16]



The New National Stadium was to serve as the main stadium for the opening ceremony. Demolition of National Stadium was completed in May 2015. Construction of the new stadium began at the site on 11 December 2016. The stadium was handed over to the IOC on 30 November 2019 for preparations. Capacity during the Olympic Games will be 60,102, including account press and executive seating areas.[17]


In December 2018, organizers stated that although the Olympic cauldron will be officially lit and extinguished at the stadium, the flame will be transferred to a separate, public cauldron (following the lead of 2010 and 2016) on the Tokyo riverfront while the Games are in progress, and transferred back to New National Stadium for the closing ceremony. Organizers cited unspecified "physical difficulties" in keeping the flame at the New National Stadium.[18]


  1. ^ "Olympic Competition Schedule". 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Tokyo 2020 Announces Outline of Olympic Games Ticket Prices |The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games".
  3. ^ "Opening and Closing Ceremonies|The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games".
  4. ^ "Basic Policy|The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games".
  5. ^ "Basic Policy for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  6. ^ "Mansai Nomura to get creative with Tokyo 2020 Ceremonies". Olympic Channel. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  7. ^ "Tokyo 2020: Balich curerà cerimonie - Sport". Agenzia ANSA (in Italian). 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  8. ^ "Mario and flying cars tipped to appear at Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  9. ^ "Dentsu's creative director for Tokyo Olympic ceremonies steps down after being disciplined overpower harassment". The Japan Times Online. 2020-01-08. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  10. ^ "Tokyo Marathon Restricted to Elite Athletes Over Coronavirus Outbreak".
  11. ^ "JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE AND THE TOKYO 2020 ORGANISING COMMITTEE". International Olympic Committee. 2020-03-24. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  12. ^ Pavitt, Michael (20 March 2020). "Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics to open on July 23 in 2021". insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  13. ^ Houston, Michael (31 March 2020). "Tokyo 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony must now reference coronavirus, producer says". Archived from the original on 18 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Japanese language to determine order of Olympic parade of athletes". Kyodo News. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  15. ^ Pavitt, Michael (30 October 2020). "Japanese language expected to decide Tokyo 2020 Parade of Nations order". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Delegation of maximum six allowed to participate in opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics". The Statesman. IANS. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  17. ^ "技術提案等審査委員会". www.jpnsport.go.jp.
  18. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (18 December 2018). "Tokyo 2020 confirms it will use Olympic flame cauldrons in stadium and on the waterfront". insidethegames.biz.
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