When Tokyo and Sapporo were selected to host the 1940 Summer and Winter Olympics, respectively, they became the first non-Western cities to be selected to host the Olympic Games.

Before the plan could be realized, however, war broke out between Japan and China in 1937, which resulted in the Japanese government losing its right to host the Games.

Japan had a chance to host the Games again in 1964. This marked the first time Japan had successfully hosted an edition of the Olympic Games, which ran from October 10th to 24th.

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In 1972 the Winter Olympics were hosted by Sapporo, a city in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. After plans to host the 1940 Winter Olympics were canceled due to the outbreak of World War II, it was Sapporo’s turn to host the 1972 edition, which ran from February 3 to 13.

Nagano, the capital and largest city of Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics, which took place February 7-22.

Shinzo Abe will not be there, at least not in an official capacity, when the postponed Olympics open on July 23, 2021 after stepping down from Prime Minister’s office due to a chronic health condition. | Photo credit: Getty Images

Tokyo had another chance to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japan’s first Summer Olympics in 56 years. However, it has been postponed to 2021 due to the outbreak of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, which still has its roots deep around the world.

The Tokyo Games will finally begin on July 23rd and end on August 8th.