A poster advertising the 2020 Summer Olympics is seen inside a Tokyo subway station in April 2019.

A poster advertising the 2020 Summer Olympics is seen inside a Tokyo subway station in April 2019. (Aaron Kidd/Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. military personnel in Japan can join an online ticket lottery for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A ticket sales website hosting the lottery, which began May 9 and runs through May 28, allows people to register and chose events they want to attend. The website includes information about Olympic sports, venues, prices and dates.

For example, an adult ticket to the July 24, 2020, opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium starts at 12,000 yen (about $109). Men’s rugby tickets for July 29 matches at Tokyo Stadium sell for 7,500 yen ($69). A ticket to Ariake Tennis Park center court for the men’s and women’s gold medal matches on Aug. 2 costs as little as 10,000 yen ($91).

Only people living in Japan are eligible to purchase Olympic tickets online. Those overseas must buy them from authorized resellers in their home countries, the ticket website states.

The website, which has an English language option, can be accessed at

Jeffrey Johnston, a former soldier who works as a civilian defense contractor on various U.S. bases in Tokyo, said he’s excited about the games and has registered for tickets.

“It’s my first time being this close to an Olympic venue,” he said.

Johnston said he’s not looking for tickets to the highest profile sports, such as swimming and gymnastics, which might be harder to come by.

“I went for things like BMX racing, archery and surfing,” he said.

To register for the lottery, you need a local address and phone number. At Yokota, for example, residents can obtain a Japanese version of their military address from the post office.

In the first three days of operation 6.3 million people accessed the ticket website, it states.

“The order in which lottery applications are received has no impact on the chances of the applicant’s ticket request being successful. All applications received by 23:59 Japan time on 28 May will have an equal opportunity of being selected and fulfilled,” the website states.

Ticket lottery results will be announced on June 20. Winners must pay by 11:59 p.m. on July 2. Payments can be made online with a Visa credit card or at a Japanese convenience store. Twitter: @SethRobson1

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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