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.
As a result of the signature-collecting campaign, led by the Japan Fullcontact Karate Organization, aimed at the inclusion of Karate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and consideration of the Full Contact rule, due to the cooperation of all members in the world, we were able to gather 1,033,095 signatures. Of this total, I would like to inform you that 38 countries of WKO, mainly led by Japan, accounted for 824,000 signatures, and I would like express my sincere appreciation to your kind support. During this period, many international packages full of signatures arrived at the WKO Office. I was deeply moved each time we opened a package, took the signed documents out, and saw the many people who supported our cause. I felt the heavy responsibility of being entrusted everyone’s grand dream, the “Olympic Games”, and I am excited for the start of negotiations with the various related parties. As seen in the high percentage of signatures collected by WKO out of the overall total of over 1 million, we can see the important, main role being played by our organization, and I am very proud of our organization strength and strong unity. Once again, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of your support. Thank you very much.
The real battle is from here. The proposal for reform in the Olympics, the “Olympic Agenda 2020” was approved at the IOC Session held in Monaco on December 8th. As a result, the 28 sport limit for the Summer Olympics will be eliminated, and the host city will be allowed to propose additional categories, as long as the limit of 10,500 athletes and 310 events is followed. The strong request from Japan, to have Karate included as an official category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is just around the corner. While supporting this campaign to have Karate included as an official category, we will strongly request for the inclusion of the Full Contact event/rule. We will continue to support the Japan Fullcontact Karate Oraganization, and do our best to actively promote and negotiate with the parties related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This year, Full Contact Karate gathered great attention worldwide as a competition category, and took major steps forward. In parallel with promoting Karate for the Olympics, we need to further pursue the Budo aspect of our martial art, the true essence of our Kyokushin Karate. The 11th World Championship in 2015 will be a great display of our true Budo spirit, and we will need to join hands and work together to make this the strongest tournament in the world. I will be looking forward to seeing the fierce battles of the strong competitors, who have given their all in their respective country/region to earn their place on the stage to decide the world’s strongest competitor.
It is December, and this year is almost over. The many memorable events made it go by very fast. I believe that WKO continues to be very special, due to the hard effort of all Branch Chiefs and Contacts in the world. I sincerely hope that we can all stay healthy, join hands again next year and move forward towards a brighter future. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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