TOKYO, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Japan plans to win 30 gold medals for the Tokyo Olympic Games as the host nation, almost doubling the previous record of 16, officials told Xinhua in an interview on the one-year countdown to the start of Tokyo 2020.
Officials said the country is also committed to building a system to continuously improve athletes' competitiveness, so as to have excellent performances in the next two or three Olympics.
Tsuyoshi Fukui, Secretary General of Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), said that it will be a home game for Japan. At present, the key players of the national team are training in the National Training Center, which can be called "the base camp of competitive sports of Japan."
He said that during the cycle of Tokyo Olympics, Japanese athletes' overseas training days increased by about 30 percent compared to the cycle of London Olympics.
Meanwhile, the JOC works hard to improve athletes' ability to perform under pressure. According to Fukui, older generation of athletes are invited each month to the National Training Center to give younger athletes advice.
Fukui said that Japan's goal to win 30 gold medals in Tokyo 2020 is fairly ambitious. It was set by the Japan Olympic Organizing Committee after extensively listening to the opinions of various parties and comprehensive judgments.
The most gold medals Japan has won at the Summer Olympics is 16 at both the 1964 Tokyo Games and 2004 Athens Games. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Japan stood sixth in the gold medal tally of 207 participating countries and areas, bagging 12 in the 17-day event.
Judo, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics are seen as four traditional sports of Japan, and about 87 percent of the Olympic gold medals of the country come from these sports. Fukui said in addition to these traditional sports, Japan also aims to claim gold medals in badminton, table tennis and track and field.
In order to meet the target of 30 gold medals, Japan must also make success in some new sports which have been added to the program for Tokyo 2020, including softball and baseball, he added.
When asked if Japan can be among the top three in the Tokyo 2020 medals table, Fukui replied that Japan's goal is to get 30 gold medals and do not compare with others. When talking about major competition sports between Japan and China, he replied that the two countries will be major competitors in badminton, table tennis and gymnastics during the Tokyo Olympics.
Masaki Koshi, assistant director of Japan Sports Agency's competitive sports division, said that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology drew up a comprehensive plan to improve the level of Japan's competitive sports in October 2016.
He added that it is a medium- and long-term plan, not only aiming at the Tokyo Olympics cycle, but also targeting the next two or three Olympic Games. The core idea of the plan is to create a system that will maintain players' competitiveness at a high level, which will be a very important legacy of the Tokyo Olympics.