A special signing ceremony has taken place here today to mark a new partnership between the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF).

The agreement, signed at the Fairmont Hotel  on the eve of the Summer Youth Olympic Games here, will see exchange programmes and opportunities for collaboration between officials, staff, athletes and coaches from the two bodies.

The agreement was signed by a group, including JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda and French counterpart Denis Masseglia.

Former canoeist Tony Estanguet, a triple Olympic gold medallist, the French Chef de Mission at Nanjing 2014 and, like Takeda, a member of the International Olympic Committee, was also present, along with JOC vice-president and secretary general Tsuyoshi Aoki.

Both parties will exchange marketing knowledge and pool information on the Olympic Movement.

French athletes will use the facilities at the National Training Centre in Tokyo, while their Japanese counterparts will take advantage of the National Institute of Sport and Physical Education, in Paris.

It is hoped this will boost the two countries to perform better than they did at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where France were seventh on the medals table and Japan 11th.

This brings the number of deals between the JOC and other National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to 30, over a decade since an initial partnership was signed with the the Austrian and Cuban Olympic Committees in 2002.

Agreements with the United States, Germany and China soon followed, the latter particularly interesting given the current antagonism between the two countries showcased by the boos which greeted the Japanese Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony of Nanjing 2014 this evening.

Other partnerships have taken place with NOC's ranging from Barbados to Bhutan, and from Panama to Egypt.