Australian Embassy

Australian diplomats visit Tokyo’s Hachijo Island to support Australia’s host towns in Japan ahead of Tokyo 2020

Diplomats from the Australian Embassy Tokyo will visit Tokyo’s Hachijo Island on 10 December as part of an ongoing series of school visits to Australian host towns in Japan ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Public Affairs Counsellor Michael Hoy will visit Ogago Elementary School on the remote island, located in the Izu island chain, some 286km from metropolitan Tokyo. This is the fourth school visit conducted since October under the Australian Government’s AUS+RALLY Sports Diplomacy Initiative. The school visits support the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative and Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education’s Global Friendship Project.

Previous visits have taken Australian diplomats to schools in Fuchu City (Baseball Australia team hosts), Ina Town, Saitama (Judo Australia) and Odawara (Rugby Australia). Some 430 local students have already taken part in the presentations, which share information on Australia, Australian sports and Embassy life.

Ogago is the first school on Tokyo’s remote islands visited under the AUS+RALLY campaign. Mr Hoy will give lessons to junior and senior students, introducing Australian athletes expected to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He will also teach the students Australia’s national sporting chant so they can cheer on Australia’s athletes in Tokyo.

Mr Hoy said visiting Hachijo Island was important to show Australia’s gratitude for Tokyo’s hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics. “Few foreigners know that Tokyo actually includes the Izu and Ogasawara Island chains, so our visit acknowledges that the islands are just as much a part of the 2020 journey as parts of downtown Tokyo.”

New South Wales and Tokyo have enjoyed a close sister state relationship since 1984. The two states collaborate in the areas of education, trade and sustainability. Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics Games.

Launched in April 2019 in partnership with Rugby Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia, the AUS+RALLY sports diplomacy initiative celebrates Team Australia in Japan in 2019 and 2020. AUS+RALLY brings together new and existing sports diplomacy activities through a communications and events program. The program is intended to support Japan’s hosting of the world’s greatest sporting events and their important legacy. AUS+RALLY has been recognised as part of the Tokyo 2020 Support Programme.

Sixteen cities and organisations have so far joined the AUS+RALLY Friends of Australia network, recognising their valued support for Team Australia in 2019 and 2020. Friends of Australia actively cross-promote their activities in collaboration with the Embassy. AUS+RALLY invites people across Japan to rally around the best of Australia.


Tuesday 10 December 2019 from 10.40am – 12.15pm

at Ogago Elementary School, 15 Ogago Hachijo-cho, Tokyo

·         lecture by Public Affairs Counsellor Michael Hoy

·         greetings in Aussie English

·         quiz on Australia

·         brief on Australian athletes at Tokyo 2020

·         Australia’s national sporting chant



AUS+RALLY is a sports diplomacy initiative of the Australian Embassy Tokyo, run in collaboration with the Rugby Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia in 2019 and 2020. The AUS+RALLY campaign name combines the Japanese name for ‘Australia’ with a rallying call for Team Australia as the world’s sporting attention turns to Japan. The AUS+RALLY communication and events program brings together new and existing sports diplomacy activities to support Japan’s hosting of the world’s largest sporting events.

As one of Japan’s closest regional partners, Australia already enjoys a deep sporting connections and a healthy sporting rivalry with Japan. Through the Australia-Japan Foundation, Australia played a leading role in the introduction of life-saving and touch football into Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, Australian and Japanese sports people have enjoyed a steady exchange of competitions and players. In 2017 and 2018, national teams from Australia and Japan played each other 23 times in Japan and around the world. Over the same period, eleven Australian teams visited Japan, and many elite Japanese athletes travelled to Australia to train and play, including in baseball, tennis, golf and surfing.


Global Friendship Project

A Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education’s project in which activities are implemented to learn extensively about the countries and regions scheduled to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Games, and to develop them into actual international exchanges. Through this project, students learn a diverse range of people, languages, cultures and histories, appreciating an importance of respecting different values.