Chiba attempts to catch the Olympic legacy wave

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Chiba attempts to catch the Olympic legacy wave

Chiba, a Japanese city 40km from Tokyo, has been organising some big events in June, as the Olympic Games prepares to throw the world’s spotlight on Japan and its events infrastructure.

The Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC), recently helped facilitate the Japanese Society of Clinical Cytology’s 62nd Annual Spring Meeting. The conference was held as an in-person event at Chiba’s largest convention complex, Makuhari Messe, 4-6 June, 2021, and brought together 1,500 in-person attendees. 

Covid-19 precautions around the event included the installation of an automated thermal body scanner, application of an electronic check-in system, a social-distancing policy, and remote system monitoring.

On 10-12 June 2021, the Sports Concierge of the CCB-IC visited the JPSA 2021 Sawakami Japan Pro Surfing Tour, a tournament that is part of the Japan Pro Surfing Association’s 17th Surf Town Festa. This event was held behind closed doors and involved 100 participants and other related parties who had undergone a PCR Test.

Surfing is a newly adopted sport in the Olympics and Chiba’s local government is hoping to continue to promote Isumi City (also in Chiba Prefecture) as a surf venue.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, now rescheduled to 23 July-8 August 2021, and 24 August-5 September for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, will see Chiba host eight sporting events including Fencing, Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Surfing. 

Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, located at the southernmost end of Kujukuri Beach in Chiba Prefecture, will be the home for the international surfing competition, while the rest of the seven competitions will be hosted at Chiba’s convention complex, Makuhari Messe.  

‘Visit Chiba’ AI Chatbot

In anticipation of welcoming back foreign visitors after Covid-19, the CCB-IC’s Visit Chiba multilingual website now features an AI chatbot where visitors can make enquiries using their phones, and get instant replies. The website also features medical-related information, safety, and health measures in addition to general tourist information.

Tokyo

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, one of the largest fan-engagement opportunities at the Olympic Summer Games was cancelled on 14 July. Tokyo Waterfront City was to connect several of the venues that will host competition along the city’s waterfront, with sports demonstrations planned and sponsors receiving opportunities to activate along the stretch. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said some of the sponsor activations may be opened on a restricted basis, although details were not clear.

Spectators have been banned from the Japan Olympics and the number of VIPs allowed at the Opening Ceremony, hosted at the National Stadium, could be cut further, with Kyodo News reporting that fewer than 1,000 people will be invited to attend. 

When athletes at those events and others reach the podium, they will also face another change in tradition. IOC president, Thomas Bach, said that athletes will collect their medals from the tray themselves and that any medal presenters will wear disinfected gloves before placing the medals on the tray. Recipients will then place the medals around their own necks in what surely will be a lasting image from these pandemic-affected Olympics.

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