News presenters shed tears and crowds erupt in delight as the International Olympic Committee names Tokyo host of the 2020 Games. Thoughts turn to the victims of Japan's devastating 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, with the Olympics seen as a chance to rebuild.
Then Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from right, and other members of the Japanese delegation celebrate the announcement, Sept. 7, 2013.
Proposals for a new national stadium designed by Zaha Hadid go back to the drawing board in July 2015 following public anger over the $2 billion price tag.
The original Olympic logo design is also ditched over its resemblance to the emblem of a Belgian theatre, with a new "snake-eye" logo unveiled in April 2016.
The National Stadium, the main stadium for the 1964 Summer Olympics, is seen in the picture in Tokyo, Sept. 5, 2013.
French magistrates charge the head of Japan's Olympic committee as they probe payments totaling $2.3 million made before and after Tokyo's nomination.
Tsunekazu Takeda protests his innocence but later steps down from the role.
In October, the IOC shifts the Olympic marathon to northern Sapporo to avoid the capital's sweltering summer heat – a surprise move that infuriates Tokyo officials.
International Olympics Committee member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee Takeda bows as he speaks after a JOC executive board meeting in Tokyo, March 19, 2019.
With the coronavirus spreading rapidly worldwide, Japan and the IOC take the decision to postpone the Olympics for the first time in history.
Officials light a lantern from the Olympic Flame at the end of a flame display ceremony in Iwaki, northern Japan, March 25, 2020.
Vowing that the rescheduled Olympics will go ahead, organizers outline plans for holding the event safely.
Athletes will face regular testing and restrictions on mingling and the IOC says it will try to ensure as many participants as possible are vaccinated, but jabs will not be obligatory.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks near the Olympic rings in the Odaiba section, in Tokyo, Dec. 1, 2020.
Public support for the Olympics plunges in Japan as a virus state of emergency is declared in Tokyo and other regions to halt a winter spike in infections.
But organizers and the IOC insist the Games will be held, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga saying they will be "proof of mankind's victory over the virus."
People wearing face masks walk by Olympics-themed signs supported by a securities firm in Tokyo, Jan. 29, 2021.
Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori resigns after his claims that women talk too much in meetings spark a firestorm of criticism.
He is replaced by Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, a seven-time Olympian who is one of just two women in Japan's cabinet.
Just weeks into her tenure, she accepts the resignation of the creative director for the Games' opening and closing ceremonies after a report reveals he suggested a plus-size female comedian could appear as an "Olympig."
In an Olympic first, overseas fans are barred from the Games to limit infection risks.
On March 25, the cherry blossom-shaped Olympic torch is lit in Fukushima, with no spectators allowed at the launch.
As the flame traverses the country's 47 prefectures, several public sections of the relay are scrapped in areas where virus cases are spiking, including the final leg in Tokyo.
And in April, North Korea says it will not attend the Tokyo Games to protect its athletes from COVID-19, dashing Seoul's hopes of using the Games to restart talks with its nuclear-armed neighbor.
Through spring and into summer, the debate rages about whether the Olympics should be held as planned, as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc and new variants emerge.
But several competition rehearsals are held successfully, and this is a major step forward for the troubled event, on June 1, the first foreign athletes arrive in Japan – Australia's softball team, who are attending a pre-Games training camp.
Polls show public opinion, which has been firmly opposed to the Games for months, may be beginning to soften.
Members of Australia's Olympic softball squad arrive at Narita international airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan, June 1, 2021.
Spectators are banned from Olympic venues in Tokyo and three surrounding regions because of a virus state of emergency imposed in the capital as cases rebound, including the more infectious delta strain.
The decision, described by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike as "heartbreaking," means the Games will happen mostly behind closed doors, with the public also urged to stay away from the marathon in Sapporo.
The Olympic flame arrives in Tokyo at a low-key welcoming ceremony held without fans, giving a taste of what could be expected at the July 23 opening ceremony.
Police walk beside empty seats of the grandstand during the unveiling ceremony for the Olympic Flame of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay at Komazawa Olympic Park, Tokyo, July 9, 2021.
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