The Japan Sports Agency, led by Daichi Suzuki, have targeted a minimum of 20 gold medals at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The Japan Sports Agency has set a minimum target of 20 gold medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and believe the tally would be enough to see the host nation finish third in the medals table.

Swimmer Daichi Suzuki, winner of the Olympic 100 metres backstroke gold medal at Seoul 1988, is heading the Agency and revealed the country’s targets for the Rio 2016 and home Tokyo 2020 Games as the organisation looks to boost Japan’s performance on the global stage.

Having previously led the Olympians Association of Japan and acted as the chairman of the Japan Swimming Association, Suzuki brings vast experience to the role.

His country secured seven gold medals at London 2012, four in wrestling and one each in boxing, gymnastics and judo.

Suzuki is hoping to deliver an improvement at next year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 48-year-old has set a minimum target of 10 gold medals in Brazil, but has aimed to double that total four years later when Japan hosts the Summer Olympics for the second time.

A tally of 20 gold medals would have only proved enough to finish fifth on the medals table at London 2012, but the agency believe should they achieve the feat in front of their home fans it would see them clinch a third place finish.

Doing that would surpass their best-ever performance at a Summer Olympics - 16 golds at their last home Games in Tokyo in 1964 and the same again at Athens 2004.

Japan won seven gold medals at London 2012 but are targeting 10 at Rio 2016
Japan won seven gold medals at London 2012 but are targeting 10 at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"Before 2020 we have the 2016 Rio Olympics,” Suzuki said.

“I want to properly analyse things before we can set a definite target, but the most gold medals Japan has ever won is 16, in Tokyo and Athens.

“We have to improve on that number."

In order to achieve their targets for both Games the agency are set to provide funding for athletes to help with their training, which is hoped will boost the athletes' performance levels in the build-up to and during Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

The Agency, overseen by the Japanese Government’s Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, are set to monitor sports-related policies in order to speed up the country’s preparations for the Games.

It is hoped the Agency will be able to improve public perception of Tokyo’s preparations to host the Olympics and Paralympics in five years’ time, which have taken a hit following well-documented problems with the National Stadium, with the initial logo having to be scrapped due to soaring costs.

In addition, the agency, which comprises of around 120 staff members, are also tasked with improving the health of the general population by engaging them in sport.

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