The International Olympic Committee on Sunday decided to give the Olympic Order in Gold to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Games organizing committee.
The decision to award the three for their contributions to the spread and development of the Olympic movement was made at the day’s IOC general meeting in Tokyo.
The last time the Olympic Order in Gold was given to a Japanese citizen was when former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received it in 2020.
With the three new awards, the number of Japanese recipients of the order in gold will reach six.
Toshiro Muto, director-general of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, will receive the Olympic Order in Silver and the total number of Japanese recipients of the order in gold, silver and bronze will come to 67.
Normally, the Olympic Order in Gold is given to the president of the organizing committee of the Games being held.
But IOC President Thomas Bach said that Suga and Koike will be exceptionally decorated with the order, noting that Tokyo Games organizers had faced a number of trials and tribulations over the past two years.
Those staging the Tokyo Olympics, which wrapped up Sunday, have been greatly dependent on Japanese authorities and the Games would not have been realized without them, Bach added.
The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for summer 2020, was postponed for the first time in Olympic history, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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