YEKATERINBURG, June 24. /TASS/. Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan, who arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg late on Friday, has thanked Russia for a well-organized 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"I would like to express gratitude to the Russian side for a well-organized World Cup," the Princess said, noting that she visited Russia for the first time and found out a lot about the country’s history.
"I had a chance to visit three places: Saransk, Kazan and Yekaterinburg. Each city has its own culture and history, and I had a chance to study this. Moscow and St. Petersburg are well-known for Japanese, but these three cities which I visited are not very famous for most people. This time many Japanese and people from all over the world learned about different Russian cities," she said.
According to the Princess, thanks to the fans’ support the Japanese team showed a good result. "I would like to express gratitude for supporting Japan and thanks to this the Japanese team was able to gain victory in Saransk," she said.
The Japanese Princess, who arrived in Russia to support the national team at the World Cup, presented in Yekaterinburg a bow and arrows to Sports Minister of the Sverdlovsk Region Leonid Rapoport and also the region’s Deputy Governor Pavel Krekov.
On Saturday, Princess Takamado visited the Church on Blood in Yekaterinburg, built on the site where Russia’s last tsar Nicholas II and his family were shot in 1918. She later attended a kyudo (Japanese martial art of archery) event in a sports facility in the Urals city. On Sunday, the Princess will attend a match between Japan and Senegal at the Yekaterinburg Arena.
As Honorary President of the Japan Football Association, Princess Takamado attended the June 19 match between Japan and Colombia in Saransk and also visited the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts and a regional museum. On June 21, she watched how the Japanese national team is training in Kazan and also visited the National Museum in the Republic of Tatarstan and the Kazan Kremlin.
Beginning from 1998, Princess Takamado has been visiting all FIFA World Cups to encourage her team. Last time, a member of the Imperial Family visited Russia in 1916 as a representative of the allied power during World War I.