The following was issued by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo).
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has invested the equivalent of about 15 billion yen to build new sports facilities and upgrade existing ones for the East Asian Games.
This was stated by the Principal Representative of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo) of the HKSAR Government, Mrs Jennie Chok, at the “Hong Kong Gearing Up to 2009 East Asian Games” reception in Tokyo this evening (August 27).
The reception was attended by some 150 government officials, athletes, coaches and representatives of the Japan Olympic Committee and related sports associations.
Mrs Chok said that in just two days' time, there would be major promotional events to mark the 100-day countdown to the Fifth East Asian Games to be held from December 5 to 13 in Hong Kong.
Noting that Hong Kong is gearing up for the final phase of meticulous preparation for hosting the Games, she said this year’s EAG would be the largest held in terms of the number of sports being contested, the number of competitions organised and the number of medals to be won.
“All together, there will be 262 gold medals to compete for, by an estimated 3,000 athletes from the nine participating countries and regions”, she said.
To add more attraction to the event, Mrs Chok said the opening ceremony would be special as it would be held in a harbour setting with a boat parade representing the nine participating countries or regions, and with a spectacular fireworks display.
Stressing that Hong Kong is working hard to make the EAG a great success, she called on the Japanese sports community to help make it also a success in promoting sports and cultural exchanges in the East Asian region.
“We welcome athletes, coaches, managers, officials, and families and friends supporting the athletes in Hong Kong,” Mrs Chok said.
At the reception, congratulatory remarks by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Seiko Hashimoto, wishing Hong Kong success in hosting the East Asian Games were conveyed.
A representative from the East Asian Games Company was present to give a briefing on detailed logistical arrangements for participating athletes and sports officials.
Also present were the Director General, Sports and Youth Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr Yukihiko Nunomura; Secretary General of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Mr Noriyuki Ichihara; the Chief of Protocol of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Mr Tsukasa Kawada; and Regional Director, North Asia, of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr Kunio Kano.
Japan, which hosted the third East Asian Games in Osaka in 2001, is one of the nine participating countries and regions.
The Principal Representative of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo) of the HKSARG, Mrs Jennie Chok, speaks at the "Hong Kong Gearing Up to 2009 East Asian Games" Reception.
Proposing a toast at the reception are (from left) Mr Kunio Kano,Mr Tsukasa Kawad , Mrs Jennie Chok, Mr Noriyuki Ichihara and Mr Yukihiko Nunomura.