Message from the three hosts
In 2021, top British athletes from various sports will make their way to sporting facilities in Yokohama City, in Kawasaki City, and at Keio University.
The pre-Games preparation camps are vital for these athletes to put the finishing touches to their tireless training so that they perform to their full potential at Tokyo 2020. We too are working together with all our might to ensure that the competitor’s preparations and their performances are at their optimum levels.
These pre-Games preparation camps are also a chance to have people from around the globe, and in particular the people of Great Britain, learn about our country, our city and our university. They also represent an unprecedented chance for each and every member of the Japanese public and for all Keio students to forge new encounters and interactions.
Our slogan is “GO GB”. We will all support the British Olympic and Paralympic teams in our capacity as the “Friends of Great Britain”. We hope that you will join us on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Yokohama City, Kawasaki City, Keio University
Since the historical opening of its port to foreign trade in 1859, Yokohama has grown steadily as a link between Japan and countries around the world. With a population of 3.7 million, it is now one of the nation’s largest cities. It enjoys excellent transportation access. Downtown Yokohama is only about 30km from the centre of Tokyo and about 25km from Haneda Airport. Its Yamate area, Yokohama Chinatown and Minato Mirai district on the waterfront are favorites of tourists for their unique, exotic atmospheres, while the city’s hills are deep in history and rich in nature. Yokohama is a city diverse in all its aspects.
Throughout the year, the focus of events in Yokohama ranges from sports to culture and art, to flowers and nature – another strong appeal of the city. In 2019, seven games of Rugby World Cup 2019™, including the final, are scheduled. In 2021, as part of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, baseball/softball and football games will be held in Yokohama. Global sporting events will thus be taking place in Yokohama in two consecutive years. Making the most of each occasion, with visitors arriving in Yokohama from all over the world, the city will offer its special hospitality – omotenashi – and create opportunities for people-to-people interactions.
Kawasaki City, home to 1.5 million citizens, is an important city located in between Tokyo and Yokohama City, and spans from east to west alongside the Tama River. While the southern part of the city where is easily accessible from the Haneda Airport, is the home to cutting-edge research development facilities and global corporations, the northern part of the city is rich in nature, such as Ikuta Ryokuchi Park and Tama Hills.
Moreover, the city is abundant in art and culture, and throughout the year many enjoyable music events are held around the city, such as the Asia Exchange Music Festival and Kawasaki Jazz.
With regards to sport, Kawasaki acts as a host town for many successful teams, such as Kawasaki Frontale who play in Japan Professional Football League.
In 2020, Kawasaki has celebrated its 30-year friendship city anniversary with Sheffield, Great Britain. Through Kawasaki hosting The pre-Games preparations camp for Team GB and ParalympicsGB in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we hope the exchange between both cities will continue to strengthen through the next generations.
Keio University was originally founded as a school for Dutch studies by Yukichi Fukuzawa in Edo period Tokyo in 1858. The various countries in Europe and the United States which he toured, and Great Britain in particular, gave Fukuzawa an acute sense of the importance of modern education and prompted the school’s transition from a school for Dutch studies to one for English studies in 1868. With this transition the school was renamed Keio Gijuku. Today Keio, which embraces around 33,500 students, 10 undergraduate faculties, and 14 graduate schools, remains locked in day-to-day battle with challenges in the fields of education, research, and medicine in its capacity as one of Japan’s foremost comprehensive universities.
Fukuzawa was also quick to recognize the importance of physical education. He founded the Keio University Athletic Association, which presently counts 43 different clubs as members, in 1892. Some of the facilities which will be put at the disposal of the British Olympic and Paralympic teams also serve as the training grounds for association clubs.
Keio has deep-reaching ties with Great Britain, and exchange agreements are in place with over 15 British universities. In addition, the university has jointly hosted an annual fair for study abroad in Japan with the British Council aimed at British secondary school and university level students in London every November since 2011.