Japanese Ambassador's National Judo Tounament held
at Olympic Youth Development Center
On 29th October, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia His Excellency Mr. Akio Egawa witnessed the finals of the 2011 Japanese Ambassador’s National Judo Tournament held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre and presented awards to excelling clubs and judokas. At the same occasion, Ambassador Egawa presented the Japanese Ambassador’s Award to Father Jude Mc Kenna for his years of commitment as an outstanding Judo mentor and contribution to Mutual Understanding and Friendship between Japan and the Republic of Zambia
The Japanese Ambassador’s National Judo Tournament was inaugurated as a major annual event in 1986 and ran until 2002. It was re-introduced in 2005 and has been held every year since then. Japan is very well known for Martial Arts such as Karate, Kendo, Aikido and Shorinjikempo, not to mention Judo. Among them, however, Judo is the only one which has been adopted as a formal event at the Olympic Games. It is a worldwide sport and is practiced in more than 200 countries and regions.
The Japanese Government has been associated with Judo in Zambia since the early 1970s. Over the years, Japan has dispatched many Judo experts through JICA and the Japan Foundation and provided the first grant of Judo equipment worth K540 million in 1998 and the second grant of K350 million in 2002. In addition, a grant worth K1.4 billion of Judo equipment was handed over to the Zambia Judo Association in April last year. The equipment included 820 Judo uniforms, 630 Judo mats, scales, scoreboards and Judo timers.
One of the major characteristics of Judo is that it does not only provide physical exercise but also facilitates self-discipline and character-building into real sportsmanship. The Japanese Government has assisted the promotion of Judo not just because this sport has its origin in Japan but also because the attributes of Judo can significantly contribute to the healthy growth of youth who will build the future of this country.
Japan has experienced almost unprecedented disaster this year, caused by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the eastern part of Japan in March. Nearly 20,000 people were killed or remain missing, and nearly 40,000 evacuees still continue to endure inconvenience in their daily lives. The physical damage was extensive and extraordinary, with many cities, towns and villages completely wiped out. Many Judo facilities were destroyed and many Judokas became victims.
To read speech by Ambassador Egawa at this ceremony, please clic here.