Host Town is an initiative related to Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. It is designed to encourage local municipalities to strengthen relationship with a country that they chose to support. This initiative will provide an opportunity for a municipality and a country to strengthen relationship culturally, economically as well as personally. It is expected that this initiative will contribute to promote sports, globalization, revitalization as well as tourism. Arigato Host Town for Supporting Reconstruction is especially designed for three prefectures, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, where it was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. It is an opportunity for these municipalities to show their progress of reconstruction to those countries that help them during the disaster through cultural and personal exchange after the end of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake occured, South Africa sent a rescue team to Iwanuma City sooner than any other countries. Even after the disaster, they sent us a soccer ball with messages and performed djembes at evacuation centers and elementary schools to cheer us up. They also attended memorial service hosted by Iwanuma City and supported us in many different ways. On the second of November 2018, Iwanuma City became Arigato Host Town for Supporting Reconstruction to welcome South African athletes.