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Introducing the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Supporting the Olympic and Paralympic Games!

(3) Be Better Edition


The concept for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was "Be better, together." The Games showed the world that Japan cares about diversity and the environment, and has the technology to make society sustainable.

Showing the world Japan's hydrogen technology

The Torch Relay marked the start of the Olympic Games. The torch was fueled by hydrogen, which has been attracting attention as a next-generation source of energy. The world's first hydrogen-fueled torch, it was made by Taiho Seiki Co., Ltd. (Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture), which manufactures mass-produced automotive parts. They made it together with Toyota Motor Corporation—the leader of the development project—and many other co-developers and parts suppliers. The hydrogen fuel was produced with solar power in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture. The cleanly produced hydrogen emits no CO2 when it burns, and together with the beautiful hydrogen torch inspired by cherry blossoms appearing in the opening ceremony, it showed Japan's technology and environmental awareness to the world.


Taiho Seiki: Employees holding the torches

Creating "barrier-free food" that removes the walls between religions and nationalities

The Olympic and Paralympic Village housed many foreign athletes and staff. One company addressed the food needs of the diverse nationalities and religions there. Hinomoto Shokusan Co., Ltd. (Mita City, Hyogo Prefecture) sells specialty primary produce of the Tanba region like chestnuts, matsutake mushrooms, and black beans, and products made from them. In addition to the domestic restaurant, department store, and other markets, the company is also expanding into the Muslim market, and produces fully halal food at a halal-certified factory. This is Japan's only such dedicated factory, producing over 100 halal foods, and it provided halal scrambled eggs and tomato sauce for the Olympic Village.


Hinomoto Shokusan: President Mino Hiroshige with halal scrambled eggs and tomato sauce

Energize the world through "the power of green"

The new Japan National Stadium was the stage for many dramatic moments. Its lush, natural turf is particularly eye-catching. It was provided by Chubu Co., Ltd. (Tohaku County, Tottori Prefecture), a company that does greening business. Armed with their own original turf-laying method (the Re-SOD method) and new turf varieties developed both inside and outside Japan, they are a comprehensive greening company to offer a one-stop solution for everything from making, selling, and laying turf to maintaining and managing it. The turf had to be removed for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, so these behind-the-scenes heroes re-laid it overnight when the ceremonies were over. "The power of green" must have been soothing and energizing to the Olympic athletes from Japan and all the other countries.


Chubu: The National Stadium with Chubu's natural turf

From local to global

Japan won a record number of medals. Olympic medals often appear on TV, but this time the medal cases also garnered attention on foreign athletes' Twitter and other social media accounts. The Tokyo 2020 medal cases are actually made of wood. They were made by Yamagami Mokko (Abashiri County, Hokkaido Prefecture), which makes exquisitely designed wooden furniture. With its supremely skilled craftspeople and highly sophisticated numerically controlled machines, it was commissioned to make the medal cases after submitting the winning proposal to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Made of Hokkaido "tamo" ash, and dyed indigo blue—the symbol color for Tokyo 2020 and a color which is said to mean victory in Japan—the beautiful design has a subtle wood grain pattern. Tamo is a hard broadleaf, and being a natural material, it takes tremendous skill to produce the same quality in large quantities. The fine details were hand-finished by the craftspeople. A built-in magnet locks the lid when slid into place, so the medal can be displayed inside as it is. These masterpieces of woodwork and design were perfect for the athletes who had worked so hard to make it to the big stage.


Yamagami Mokko: Paralympic medal case

The Olympic and Paralympic Games provided us with a lot of moving moments. The main stars were the athletes, but behind their dazzling performances, a legion of small and medium-sized enterprises supported the Games and made them even more colorful. Every detail was infused with Japan's technology and passion. We hope their stories reach many people.

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Last updated:2021-09-09