The Programme was announced by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to share the values of sport with more than 10 million people over 100 countries between 2014 and 2020. The Programme provides also an excellent opportunity to deepen understanding of sports that originated in Japan, as Radio Taiso have been popular in Japan since 1920’s.
Mr. Yasuhiko Kamada, Acting Ambassador of Japan welcomed the Radio Taiso experts and highlighted that this year is the 90th anniversary of Radio Taiso. He hoped that the people of Tonga would enjoy the moderate and easy moves shared by the experts which would help maintain their physical fitness and health. “It is a feel-good exercise designed for anyone to perform anytime and anyplace. Its main role is to develop and maintain your health, and it may also be good for NCDs.” he added.
The Radio Taiso mission team included two instructors, Ms. Takako Hirai and Ms Naomi Fujimoto, and were accompanied by Mr. Chiyuki Kamisaka, Executive Board Member, Secretariat of Japan Radio Taiso Federation and Ms Maho Harada, Project Manager, Secretariat of Sport for Tomorrow Consortium in Japan Sport Council. They arrived at Fua’amotu Airport on the 16th October and introduced radio exercises at St. Andrews High School, Kolovai village at the Western Tongatapu and a general public demonstration in Central Nuku’alofa.
In the evening of Friday 20th October, the Embassy of Japan hosted a demonstration and reception at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Japan to Tonga. The guest of honour was Hon. Saia Piukala, Tonga’s Minister for Health where he acknowledged the effort of the experts and their objective to improve health of many citizens and make them enjoy happy lives through doing the exercises. Coaches and Team Leaders of various Sports Federations in Nuku’alofa also attended the event and shared common vision, of the Sport for Tomorrow Programme.
The Embassy of Japan in Nuku’alofa acknowledges the kind collaboration from Tonga’s local sports federations and TASANOC in facilitating the Radio Taiso mission, and extending the movement of health promotion and international exchange through sports between Tonga and Japan.
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