TOKYO, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The opening ceremony of the Russian- Japanese exchanges in the field of martial arts was held at Tokyo’s main sports arena Budokan in Tokyo on Monday. Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Sports and the Russian Union of Martial Arts attended the colorful event.
Wearing the traditional Japanese warriors’ outfits, representatives of the Russian delegation took part in an ancient ritual that was held in the past before the departure of a warrior to the battlefield. During the opening ceremony, there were also demonstrations of nine modern martial arts’ trends.
Head of the Summer Sports Department of the Russian Sports Ministry Grigory Kabelsky represented the Russian delegation. “The Year of bilateral exchanges in the field of martial arts has become an unprecedented event in the history of Russian-Japanese sports co-operation,” he told the audience. Kabelsky noted that all joint activities within the framework of the Year “will help both improve the skills of our athletes and popularize related kinds of sports in our country and around the world.” The Russian Sports Ministry official reminded the audience that Russia would very soon host the Winter Olympics and invited Japanese athletes and fans to visit the city of Sochi.
The agreement to declare 2014 the Year of Russian-Japanese exchanges in the field of martial arts was reached between the two countries’ leaders at a meeting last year.
On Monday, the sides approved the symbols of bilateral exchanges, which were selected in a corresponding competition in Russia and Japan at the end of 2013. The logo, the author of which is Japanese woman Otake Tomomi, is made in the shape of a heart, the contours of which are formed by the figures of a Japanese and a Russian master of martial arts.