Japan is hosting Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, an upcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from July 24th to August 9th 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The Embassy of Japan is planning to launch various initiatives to promote the momentum of this international sports festival. Encouraging unity in the society and the ongoing peace process in South Sudan through sport activities of the youth is one of the most important goals pursued by the Embassy of Japan. For instance, Japan has been organizing National Unity Day sports events every year through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Japan also assists South Sudanese athletes to improve their athletic skills to compete in the global competitions.
It is important to ensure that South Sudanese athletes participate in Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as it is a great opportunity to show the nation’s unity and dignity to the rest of the world and build confidence among the people of South Sudan. Towards this goal, the Embassy of Japan has been working closely with its South Sudanese partners including South Sudan National Olympic Committee to facilitate conditions for high performances by the nation’s athletes.
On July 30th 2019, South Sudan National Olympic Committee’s President Juma Stephen and Secretary General Tong Chor together with the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Ambassador Seiji Okada visited Maebashi city, "Host Town" of South Sudanese athletes for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and signed an agreement on their cooperation to dispatch South Sudanese athletes to Maebashi city for a long-term training camp before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Karate was introduced by the engineering units of the Self Defense Force (SDF) of Japan dispatched to UNMISS as a part of its community engagement during their deployment from 2012 to 2017. On June 8th 2019, South Sudan Karate Federation, South Sudan National Olympic Committee, and the Embassy of Japan co-organized the third Japanese Ambassador’s Cup Karate Competition. Karate uniforms and gears have been kindly donated by Karate-do Federation of the All Self Defense Forces of Japan and were handed over to South Sudan Karate Federation by H.E. Ambassador Seiji Okada on the occasion of this competition. Karate-do Federation of the All Self Defense Forces of Japan has also accepted five South Sudan Karate Federation members to have trainings in Japan in July 2019 through “Sport for Tomorrow” program sponsored by Japan.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will see the introduction of additional sports, and karate is one of them. In order for South Sudanese karate players to participate in the selection process of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, South Sudan Karate Federation needs to be registered as a member of World Karate Federation by paying registration fee. In this regard, South Sudan Karate Federation, South Sudan National Olympic Committee, South Sudan business community, Dai Nippon Construction Co., Ltd., CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd., and staff members of the Embassy of Japan and JICA jointly raised the amount totaling 1,900 USD and donated to South Sudan Karate Federation. The Embassy of Japan sincerely hopes that this will be the first step for South Sudanese karate players to participate in Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.