25 February 2023


Warsaw European Open 2023


Today during the first day of the Warsaw European Open 2023, an event which has been running for 15 years and formerly known as a world cup, there was a special presentation given on behalf of the All Japan Judo Federation. 

The President of the Polish Judo Association, Mr Jacek ZAWADKA welcomed the Japanese Ambassador to Poland, Mr MIYAJIMA Akio, and on behalf of the government of Japan, donated a great number of judogi and tatami for the benefit of young judoka from Ukraine in order to have the opportunity to train in Polish clubs. Mr Miyajima began, 

When I learned of the work the Polish Judo Association were doing, how they welcomed Ukrainian people to join judo cubs, I was impressed to witness this. I informed those in Japan of what was happening and they were also very happy. 

During the presentation, a video message was streamed from Mr INOUE Kosei, 2000 Olympic champion, three-time world champion and former head coach of the Japanese team. 

I was impressed how Polish people embraced many Ukrainian people, as we know, Japan stand firmly with Ukraine in this time. We are stronger through judo, we are all one big judo family and so we should support each other and grow together. 

I was looking for a way to contribute and through tatami and judogi we can, thanks to all for the help in transportation of this equipment. 

Along with the message and calligraphy from the judo legend, the Mr Miyajima also presented a letter from the All Japan Judo Federation and Japanese Olympic Committee President, My YAMASHITA Yasuhiro.

President of the Polish Judo Association, Mr Jacek ZAWADKA, Japanese Ambassador to Poland, Mr MIYAJIMA Akio and Director of the Japanese Embassy to Poland, Ms MAKINO Michiko. © Carlos Ferreira

The letters were displayed for the crowd and judoka to see and were explained by the ambassador. From Yamashita, his letters read ‘Fighting Spirit’ and ‘Challenge’, and from Inoue, his message was that ‘we shall resolve’, to look back and see when and how you started judo, to remain humble and modest and to continue to train every day to become a better judoka. 

Mr Miyajima concluded the ceremony,

I wish great matches and success today. 

Author: Thea Cowen