August 20, 2012 at the Ceremony to Present the Certificate of Honor to the Members of the Japanese National Team of the London 2012 Games of the XXX Olympiad
"These Olympics saw the greatest number of medals and the greatest number of gold medalists in Japan's history. You have achieved truly magnificent results. The seven gold medalists in particular fully demonstrated their strength and their skill together with their stupendous strength of mind on a grand stage that comes around only once every four years, and for that reason they succeeded in becoming the greatest in the world, taking this opportunity that arrives once every four years. As for the silver medalists, as the mother of one medalist remarked, 'The Japanese character for "silver" is written as "better than gold."' I found her words to be rich in their implication. And if we continue along those lines, the character for 'bronze' is written as 'the same as gold.' I consider each of these medal classes to have tremendous value. I would like all of you who vied boldly with highly skilled competitors from around the world to become Olympic diploma recipients also to be proud of your achievements."