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KIGALI, Rwanda, February 5, 2018/ — On January 26, H.E. Mr. Takayuki Miyashita, Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, and Mr. Theogene Uwayo, President of the Rwanda Karate Federation (FERWAKA), signed a Grant Contract amounting up to USD 67,372 for the provision of karate equipment including 400 tatami mats. This is the first grant assistance project in the framework of Japan’s Cultural Grant Assistance in Rwanda.

Ambassador Miyashita said in his remarks: “FERWAKA has more than 3,000 karate practitioners and I am delighted to learn that many Rwandan people like and practice karate. The Embassy of Japan holds the Karate Ambassador’s Cup in collaboration with the federation, which would use Taekwondo’s mats. I am pleased that this grant project now provides the federation with necessary equipment such as tatami mats.” Karate is stepping into the spotlight because it becomes an additional event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. “I hear that Rwanda hosts the African Karate Championship this year. I expect that the new tatamis will be utilized for the event,” he added.

Mr. John Ntigengwa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC), noted that the Government of Rwanda makes use of sports for the country’s development. He expressed his appreciation for the support of the Government of Japan, stressing the significance of this grant project for the further mutual understanding between Japan and Rwanda.

Mr. Theogene Uwayo, President of FERWAKA, said that he is sure that the new equipment will enable them to train well qualified karate players, promising the appropriate maintenance and good use of the equipment which is to be provided through this project.

This signing ceremony was covered by several local media, including the New Times.

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