On February 24th, the 4th Karate Ambassador’s Cup was co-organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Rwanda Karate Federation (FERWAKA). The competition consisted of “kata,” in which players demonstrate combination of various motions, and “kumite,” in which players fight against each other, for both genders. More than 200 karate players, or “karatekas,” gathered from across the country at the venue to showcase their sophisticated performance and exciting matches.
Ambassador Miyashita said in his speech:
(1) I congratulate the remarkable achievement of the Rwanda Karate team at the African Karate Competition last September, where a Rwandan player got the first-ever gold medal on an international stage.
(2) Rwandan karatekas have precious opportunities to motivate themselves, such as the karate seminar and dan grading was organized by Sensei Mori and other coaches from Japan Karate Federation last September.
(3) The Embassy of Japan donated 400 tatami mats and other karate equipment to FERWAKA last September, and I am very pleased to see today that the equipment is being used in a competition for the first time.
(4) I extend my sincere gratitude to FERWAKA for its engagement in promoting karate in Rwanda, and the federation was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation last year.
Ambassador Miyashita also mentioned that, during his visit to Japan early January, President Kagame welcomed the promotion of karate in Rwanda together with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe in the joint statement issued after their Summit Meeting. He reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to foster sports and cultural exchange through karate between Japan and Rwanda.
Karamaga Barnabé, Vice President of FERWAKA, said that karate has been promoted from the low level to the high level in Rwanda and thanked the Government of Japan for its support such as the donation of karate equipment. He also mentioned that he hopes to continue the cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, through this competition of the Karate Ambassador’s Cup.
Rurangayire Guy Didier, the Acting Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, said that the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 offers a good opportunity to familiarize with karate, since this sport is introduced as an additional event for the first time in the Olympics. He encouraged all the participants to further improve themselves, taking advantage of various opportunities available to them.