Picture: Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno, two-time Olympic champion in wrestling Kaori Icho, logo designer Ai Shimamine, multiple Paralympic champion in swimming Mayumi Narita and Tokyo 2020 President and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda.

It’s official! Tokyo has bid to host the Olympic Games once again.

As many Sydneyites or Londoners will tell you, a successful Olympic bid can vastly transform a city. After Rio snatched the nomination to host the 2016 summer games, many Tokyoites felt at a loss. If Tokyo can secure the 2020 summer games, it could be just what Japan needs to boost the economy and lift the nations spirits.

Tokyo is the first bidder to introduce a logo among the six applicant cities.

According to the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, the logo, unveiled last month, is said to symbolise and underpin Tokyo’s efforts to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The logo comprises an arrangement of cherry blossoms, Japan’s most celebrated flower.

The logo has been designed to symbolise the concepts of friendship and peace with the floral motif expressing the feelings of deep gratitude inherent in Japan’s sending of cherry blossom trees to all parts of the world.

The logo was unveiled at a special ceremony to mark the occasion at the Tokyo Mode Gakuen, a specialist design college, in Shinjuku.

Attending the ceremony were Tokyo 2020 President and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno, legendary Paralympian swimmer Mayumi Narita, two-time Olympic champion freestyle wrestler Kaori Icho and logo designer Ai Shimamine.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Tokyo 2020 President, Tsunekazu Takeda, praised the new logo and its designer:

“I am personally delighted with the new logo. It symbolises the concepts of friendship, peace, eternity, happiness and unity; concepts that we hold most dear. The designer has even been able to create the logo in the form of a flower that, in itself, is an internationally recognised symbol of Japan.”

“I look forward to seeing the logo proudly displayed across Tokyo and the whole of Japan as we at Tokyo 2020 strive to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tokyo in 2020,” he said.

A competition to submit logo designs for the bid was opened to young art and design students and the winning entry was selected by a panel of judges comprising Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno, award-winning designer Kashiwa Sato (of advertising agency Samurai) and leading script writer Kundo Koyama.

The contest winner, Ai Shimamine, is currently a fourth year student at the Joshibi University of Art and Design who plans to continue her studies at postgraduate level.

Despite being busy creating artwork as part of her final graduation examinations, Shimamine sought advice from GK Graphics art director Kunio Hisada and conceived the Tokyo 2020 bid logo design.

Shimamine says she is “naturally delighted,” to have been awarded the Grand Prix for her entry, however, more than anything, she would like to see the realisation of Tokyo 2020’s overriding aim of bringing the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tokyo.

Official site: www.tokyo2020.jp