Corporate Social Responsibility2019


Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Assigned Employee Discussion

Thinking about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games


Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical is an official partner of Tokyo 2020 (external pain relief products) and contributes to the success of the Games by assigning employees to work at the Games.
Left: Ayaka Shirota (Manager, HR Planning Team, HR Planning Section, Human Resources Department, Administration Bureau)
Middle: Norihito Mori (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium Venue Operations General Manager, Venue Management Department, Games Operations Bureau)
Right: Katsunori Kawai (Manager, Venue Operations Section 2, Venue Management Department, Games Operations Bureau)

What is the significance of your involvement in Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games?

Mori: I am currently in charge of the Kashima venue, but my job at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is coordinating the philosophy that should be realized initially with the practical issues of venue management and coming to a concrete agreement. I have been interested in Hisamitsu's CSR, and this experience is an opportunity to rethink the relationship between business and CSR. Until now, I felt that work and CSR were separate things, but this idea has changed within me.

Kawai:I was in the clinical development department and thought I was conscious of the importance of thinking from “broader perspectives.” Currently, I am engaged in the management of the bay area canoe slalom venue and, while I am perplexed by the reality of touching on the viewpoints of many stakeholders, I am enjoying each day’s work. In fact, I realize the importance of engaging with many people while thinking together from a broad perspective.

Shirota:I am involved in the HR work of the Organizing Committee. Until now, I thought that I understood the importance of diversity and work environments, but I feel that through my involvement in the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, my awareness and perspective have changed.
I am thrilled to be in a situation in which a diverse array of people each bring together what they have to offer in order to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games successful.

Are there any problems you are currently experiencing?

Kawai:In this work, the feeling of having “challenges” is stronger than the feeling of having problems. That said, there are certainly many difficulties. I am in charge of the canoe slalom venue, and there are so many different parties involved that coordination is difficult. There are requests and rules from each organization, and the other day, the International Canoe Federation visited to confirm the course and we accommodated their opinions. These experiences made me really excited to realize that we’re getting closer and closer to the actual event.

Shirota:Like Mr. Kawai, I also feel more a sense of challenge than hardship. One real challenge is that in response to the demands for personnel from each department, it is difficult to explain the current situation of resources that we can offer in a way that is easy for people to understand. I feel that other departments seem to think us inflexible, but I think it is necessary to work with confidence to take responsibility for my work.
I do worry that there will be about three times the current organizational structure as the game approaches, but I want to do my work well.

Mori: I think this is said often in CSR, but I feel a challenge in finding and implementing the best path through various stakeholder engagements. Compared to normal business at Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical, because there is an almost unimaginable number of stakeholders involved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it’s necessary to make decisions on whose demands should be considered the most important in each theme. Particularly in the case of the Kashima venue, consideration is also needed for the relationship between existing team members, the J-League, and Ibaraki Prefecture, who will be temporarily involved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


“Sustainability” is also a big theme in the Games, isn’t it?

Shirota: In my department, “diversity” is a major theme in our actual work. Seeing people of diverse cultures, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and values, not only genders, nationalities, or races, all working with the goal of making the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games successful has made me feel that “diversity is not a special thing.”

Mori:In terms of venue management, “safety,” “diversity,” and “human rights” are also practical issues. For example, in securing space for wheelchairs, it’s also necessary to secure evacuation routes, yet the construction budget is limited. Things like that come up. Also, the process of restoring the facility to its original condition after the Games must be taken into account, and the process of considering priorities and deciding on measures is important.

Kawai:Procurement is also related to venue construction. Specific people in charge handle specific things, but there seem to be various challenges.
I also feel that what can be passed on to the next generation as a “legacy” is also related to sustainability. I think this is something I’m considering more as an individual and I am searching for answers.
As Mr. Mori said, I feel that it is more important to be involved in a process that incorporates “sustainability” as an operational way of thinking and a decision-making process rather than “sustainability” as a thing.

Shirota:Programs related to “human rights” are also available as part of introductory training for the Organising Committee. Personally, this program changed my understanding of “diversity” from “important” to “ordinary.” There are also three types of genders in the Organising Committee.

Provided by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee
Provided by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee

Mori:I also became aware of the presence of “abnormalities in healthy people” in this program. I feel like I have been liberated from a sense of guilt of hypocrisies that were somewhere inside of me.

How would you like to make use of your experience within Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical?

Mori: I feel that in continuing this job, I drew a line on my own, but I feel the joy of the challenge in being involved in the Organising Committee every day.
At Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical, I want to work on new things while making all employees feel this way about their work.

Kawai:At this stage, I haven’t come up with anything specific, but I want to bring back the importance of working with a broad perspective, regardless of what I do. By doing so, I think that we can expand our company's potential beginning with each and every employee.


Shirota:Going forward, I would like to make use of my experience with the Organising Committee in the human resources-related work at Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical I have been engaged in until now. I feel that it will be possible to make Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical an even better company through improved work-life balance, evaluation and education, and raising awareness. One of the things I’d like to consider is how stakeholder engagement should take place.

Kawai:Recognition of “Salonpas®” helped me out in my work with the Organising Committee. Working with people who are fonder of our product than I am as an employee made me proud of Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical and increased my motivation.

What are the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games?

The Olympic Games will open on July 24th, 2020 and will consist of 33 competitions held over 19 days until the closing ceremony on August 9th. The Paralympic Games will open on August 25th, hosting 22 competitions until the closing ceremony on September 6th. Major competition venues are taking shape one after another as the opening dates move closer. At these competitions, the following three basic concepts are being celebrated.

[Everyone’s personal best]

Through optimal preparation and operation, a safe and secure competitions in which all athletes can perform at their best and record their personal bests can be achieved.
The world's highest technology standards are used to maintain competition venues and competition operations.
All Japanese people, including volunteers, welcome people from around the world with the best hospitality.

[Diversity and harmony]

Society advances by acknowledging and naturally accepting differences in race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, politics, disabilities, and all other aspects.
The Tokyo 2020 Games will be an event that will allow people around the world to once again recognize the importance of diversity and harmony and foster a symbiotic society.

[Inheritance for the future]

The Tokyo 1964 Games greatly changed Japan, creating an opportunity for the nation to become highly conscious of the world around it, as well as momentum for high growth.
At the Tokyo 2020 Games, Japan, which has become a mature country, will now promote positive changes in the world and pass them on to the future as its legacy.

Furthermore, “Sustainability” is also addressed as a major point. Details based on the three basic concepts are disclosed in the “Sustainability Progress Report” published in March 2019 and will be widely disclosed in the “Pre-Games Report,” which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2020, and the “Post-Games Report” scheduled for publication in the winter of 2020.

Provided by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee

What kind of Games would you like to make?

Shirota:I want volunteers to think, “I want to do the Olympics again in Tokyo” or “I want to volunteer together at the next Paris 2024 Games, too.” I would like to realize an event in which the staff feel happy to participate.

Kawai:In my case, I’m involved in a relatively minor competition, but I hope that children will learn more about the fun of canoeing and that the canoeing population in Japan will increase.

Mori:As the person in charge of the Kashima venue, I am trying to manage operations so that people will think, “I want to visit Kashima again” and “I want to come to Ibaraki Prefecture.”
Also, personally, I feel there’s an aspect of me being seen as a representative of Hisamitsu, so I hope that people think, “Hisamitsu contributed to the Games” and, through these Games, I would like our company “to be chosen” for more than just our products.