Cancellation of the House of Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Local news, 11.05.2021

The current health measures in Japan and the travel restrictions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have compelled the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to cancel the presence of the House of Switzerland in Tokyo this summer.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the head of the FDFA, informed the Federal Council at its meeting on 28 April of his decision to cancel the House of Switzerland's Tokyo appearance, scheduled from 24 July to 5 September 2021. Following the postponement of the Olympic Games from 2020 to 2021, the Federal Council had decided to realise the initial 2020 project in 2021. At present, neither the health measures nor the restrictions decided by the Japanese government and the organisers allow for the presence of a House of Switzerland during these games.

By taking this decision three months before their opening, the FDFA intends to safeguard the financial interests of the Confederation and its private-sector partners, whose views were also considered in the risk analysis that preceded the decision. While the budget approved by the Federal Council amounts to CHF 4.9 million, the final net cost to the Confederation will be approximately CHF 2.5 million, resulting in a reduction of costs of CHF 2.4 million. This is the first cancellation of a House of Switzerland since Presence Switzerland took on responsibility for it at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The Doors to Switzerland campaign on the road to the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Tokyo is however ongoing. Led by the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, this campaign aims at strengthening the friendship between our two countries and shedding light on Switzerland’s innovation and creativity.