Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin yesterday received a courtesy call from Mayor of Atami City in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Sakae Saito.
During the courtesy call, both sides had a rewarding exchange regarding people-to-people exchanges and the proposal of Atami City as the host town for Brunei athletes during the Paralympic Games 2020 and the Summer Olympic Games 2020.
Accompanying Saito were Atami City’s Congressist Kenzo Murayama; Shuji Tatsumi from the Deputy Tourism Development Department of Atami City; Vice Chairman of the Atami-Brunei Friendship Association Ikeda Shuichi; and Advisor to the President for Brunei Affairs of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Okuochi Hiroshi.
Also present during the courtesy call were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pengiran Mohammad Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MCYS Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Maiddin bin Pengiran Haji Said.
At the meeting, Saito invited Brunei Darussalam’s athletes and officials to stay in Atami City, as the host town for both the Paralympic Games 2020 and the Summer Olympic Games 2020.
Later, in an interview, Saito said, “Besides mentioning Brunei athletes in the Olympics, we also touched on youth exchanges with our city. “Atami is located very close to Tokyo, about 40 minutes by train. It has sports facilities for training, such as the Minami Atami Hall for badminton and the Himenosawa Park for athletics.
“We also have a swimming pool for training. It’s a perfect place for the conditioning of athletes and relaxation before the competition.”
Saito also mentioned that the MCYS expressed an interest in karate-do, while Atami City is host to an annual karate festival.
“Brunei Darussalam is very popular with the Japanese people, and this is a good opportunity to promote Brunei Darussalam through Atami City,” he said.