Tokyo 2020 will be a
vitality switch for Japan.
I want to give the
pioneers of
tomorrow a push.

Tanio Ami

Promotion Team,
Project Promotion Section, Technology Promotion Department, Technology Services Bureau
Joined in 2018

Since her college days Tanio has researched about increasing people’s motivation. It’s not just about cheering people up, but it includes forming communities such as in “sports” or “festivals”. She wants to use the opportunity of Tokyo 2020 to further explore this potential.

“Don’t expect great things if you come back to Japan.” After graduating from college, Tanio was working as a Japanese teacher in Thailand and her friends working in Japan would tell her about life in Japan with a dark expression. In the early 2000s, economic crisis meant that many companies were not hiring employees in what was known as the “employment ice age”. Many people felt entrapped with no place to go. However, Tanio didn’t believe that Japan would continue to stagnate. Both at that time and now, Japan was an aspirational country for Thai people. Via their viewpoint, Tanio felt that Japan still had great potential. “Let’s fulfil this potential for a brighter future. I want to help create something that will make everyone realise.” Tanio decided to come back to Japan with this on her mind.

Be tenacious. Any job will do.

In the winter of 2017, Tanio knocked on the door of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee with her résumé in her right hand. At the interview she spoke about her enthusiasm for the Games and work that she felt she could contribute to.

“After coming back from Thailand, I had been looking for a chance to blow away the feeling of hopelessness from Japan, like a ‘big motivation switch’. In my college days, I made a festival called ‘Koiya Matsuri’ in Osaka and after returning from Thailand I helped with the ‘YOSAKOI Soran Matsuri’ in Hokkaido. I felt that when a group of people concentrate on a common goal, they generate some kind of power. Then, I realised that when the power in an extraordinary space is added to ordinary powers such as community forming across generations, vitality to work, improving societal connections, and fostering the next generation, a much larger and future-inspiring power is generated. I wanted to do something that caused this to happen all over Japan. With this at the back of my mind, I realised that when Tokyo 2020 was announced, it was what I had been looking for.”

Any job would do; the content didn’t really matter. She was that committed. She thought, so long as her experience—sales and systems engineer at an IT venture, starting a venture firm, promoting festivals—came in handy, she’d be fine, but she wasn’t very confident about how much of a contribution she could make. But she also thought, I can do this! Be tenacious! Try anything! “Sports have the power to change the world and the future”. She wanted to make the vision of the Games a reality. She wanted to create an atmosphere of forward momentum, looking to the future, using the setting of peaceful competition that is sports as the fuel. She was full of such thoughts. And so at the beginning of 2018, Tanio became a member of the organising committee.

Forging relationships through conflict

She was assigned to the Technology Services Bureau. It was a position where she could leverage her previous experience as a system engineer, but it wasn’t a cake walk. The bureau is in charge of all technological aspects, from the system used by the organising committee to the operation systems during the games to cyber security, and Tanio’s was given charge of the sensitive areas of budgeting, assets and monitoring.

“The Technology Services Bureau is in the process of gathering the detailed specifications and requirements to ensure that world-class technology is up and running at the event venues. Because there is such a variety of facilities involved in the Olympics and Paralympics, I am fielding budget requests and opinions within the Technology Services Bureau. But of course there is a limit to the budget. Every day is a trial and error process, figuring out how to distribute the budget within the bureau, what’s negotiable and non-negotiable, what’s the best way to distribute a limited budget, how to make sure everybody’s satisfied, are we making progress, and so on.”

Tanio has typically been non-confrontational. She would make few demands, and should an argument break out nearby, she would assume the role of peacemaker. But in this environment—a gathering of people of many backgrounds—overcoming cultural hurdles and values to exchange opinions is the norm. And because the success of the Games is everyone’s goal, she learned that clashing of opinions is not a negative thing. Observing the communication styles of so many experts from so many countries—people making compelling logical arguments or drawing others in to negotiate—is a learning experience. More than that, it’s invigorating. Tanio now has ingrained in her the meaning and pleasure of holding one’s own opinion or building a rapport with someone through tense negotiations.

Making sports the power of Japan and of tomorrow’s leaders

The Tokyo 2020 Games will be a switch to open a bright path to the future. She wants them to be the sunshine that lifts the fog that has been covering Japan lately. Tanio works every day to make that wish reality.

“I think that the role the Olympics, which have fused the sports and entertainment cultures together, can play is enormous. For example, if we make it possible to watch the Games from an evacuation shelter in the countryside, that’s an opportunity to form a community. It’s an opportunity to meet new people. That has myriad effects, like fostering a sense of belonging and the desire to help one another. I don’t think there is a switch as big as Tokyo 2020 that can show people the potential of sports to seep into daily life and take root as a new source of strength for Japan. Together, we can give that switch a big push. And it is my wish that these Games show a bright future to the next generation, tomorrow’s leaders, even if just a little bit. Nothing would make me happier than for that generation, when they are society’s leaders, to recount tales of how the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were their inspiration.”

Always look to the future to change Japan for the better. Tanio is at the starting line of the field known as the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and the goal is to make her wishes come true.

There are a few people who Tanio wants to show off her efforts to.
They are her 9 year-old daughter and 7 year-old son,
and they are rooting for their mother at the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
She wants to make a positive impact on the future for her children.
This is Tanio’s chosen playing field,
on which she has staked her expectations.

Other members

職員紹介 井上 利彦サムネイル画像

Inoue ToshihikoJoined in 2014, Communications and Engagement Bureau

職員紹介 谷尾 亜実サムネイル画像

Masakazu SudoJoined in 2017, Sports Bureau

職員紹介 井上 利彦サムネイル画像

Osawa MasaakiJoined in 2018, Transport Bureau

職員紹介 谷尾 亜実サムネイル画像

Bamba MichiyoJoined in 2019, Games Delivery Office

職員紹介 須藤 正和サムネイル画像

Li JasmineJoined in 2016, International Bureau