First of all, I would like to start my message by expressing my appreciation to all of you for your warm support for our organization.
In Japan, the cherry blossoms, a symbol of spring, is in full bloom. The long and cold winter has passed, and the weather is gradually becoming warm and pleasant. I hope all of you are doing fine as well.
As for us, the WKO Branches and Dojos around the world, all together in strong unity, are getting ready for the upcoming World Cup. The preparation work for the event for the organizers, the Lithuania Branch, and the WKO Headquarters, is currently at its peak. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and respect to their efforts. I have also received reports that the preparation work is going well, due to the smooth cooperation of the WKO Branches and Dojos. Let us continue this strong cooperation, and make this event a great success. For the competitors, I believe all of you have gone through hard training. I would like to ask for your continued efforts to ensure your participation in the event in best condition, for the tournament is only 2 weeks away.
At the World Cup, international meetings such as the Board Meeting, General Assembly, and the World Karate Seminar will be held in accordance with the tournament. Although I have mentioned this to you on various occasions, WKO is an organization made by us, with our own hands, and its foundation, is the continuation of our daily training, as a practitioner of this great martial art. Let us exchange our thoughts and opinions during the meetings, and train hard at the seminar.
The measures taken to realize our goal, the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, is progressing smoothly. In Japan, 219 domestic groups, and several international organizations with 92 affiliated countries, have united and established the JFKO (Japan Fullcontact Karate Organization) on March 18th. The WKO Japan Region, along with our reliable comrades, has actively participated in this project from its earliest stages. I believe that through the firm establishment of the Full Contact Karate competition, and the increase of its recognition within society, and the promotion of these 2 aspects, as an extension of this, we will start to see the Olympics for Full Contact Karate. At the current stage, it is extremely difficult for the current Full Contact Karate competition to be included in the Olympic Games. It is also a fact, that in the “Karate” currently reported to be a candidate to join the 2020 Olympic Games, there is no direct contact with Full Contact Karate. To never forget to face the truth, but to also never give up on our vision. The necessity to consider coordination and compromise as an option, is only possible after the thorough pursuit of all possibilities. Our most important mission is the establishment of “Full Contact Karate”, which will go beyond groups and organizations. I would like to introduce the “Japan Model” to the entire world, the establishment of a unified organization, a model case mainly shouldered by Japan. At the same time, I would like to add that for the various activities aimed at realizing the “Inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games”, we will spare no effort to cooperate with all directions.
Lastly, I am very much looking forward to meeting all of you at the World Cup. By making this tournament a great success with our strong unity, I would like to report to Sosai Oyama’s grave on April 26th, the 19th anniversary of his death, our unchanging friendship and appreciation towards Sosai.
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