Samoa’s preparation to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan took a major leapfrog this week.
It follows the endorsement of an agreement between the government of Samoa and the city of Yamagata, Japan.
Signed by Tokyo based Samoa’s Ambassador to Japan, Faalavaau Perina Sila-Tualaulelei and Mayor of Yamagata Takahiro Sato, the Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) gives Yamagata City the rights to be the host town for Samoa and the Samoa Olympic delegations during their pre-camp training period before the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The M.O.U. also marks the formal commencement of cultural and sports exchanges between Samoa and Yamagata.
“This M.O.U. provides the framework for a deeper relationship between Samoa and Yamagata City including through hosting Samoa’s Olympic delegations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and, cultural and sports exchanges between Samoa and Yamagata,” said Fa’alavaau.
“It forms part and parcel of our Government’s efforts to foster closer bilateral relations between Samoa and Japan.”
“We are very grateful to the generosity and hospitality of the Mayor, the Council and the people of Yamagata City in this regard.”
Under the M.O.U, Yamagata City will provide for all domestic arrangements, accommodation, transport and use of the necessary training facilities for the duration of the delegations’ stay in Yamagata.
Ambassador Faalavaau has been a strong advocate of Samoa and Japan promoting greater understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures also at the local level.
The M.O.U. will also help pave the way for School visits, college rugby team exchanges, visits by cultural performers and more, between Samoa and Yamagata City.
“To God be all the glory for He has done greater and mightier things. We hope that through these programs there will be an increase in appreciation of each other’s cultures and an understanding of the opportunities available especially for our young people,” said Fa’alavaau.
The second phase of the M.O.U. will be signed in Apia next week with the Executive of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, Yamagata City’s partners for the Olympic Games, during the Mayor’s official visit to Samoa.
Mr. Sato is scheduled to arrive on 28 January with a five-member delegation.