World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinós has travelled to Japan this week to hold key strategic meetings with top officials and institutions and to continue laying the groundwork for Karate’s anticipated debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
With Karate’s Olympic presentation in mind, Mr. Espinós initiated the hectic four-day journey visiting Nippon Budokan. The majestic arena will be Karate’s venue at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the stage where the Olympic dream of the sport will become a reality.
Accompanied by WKF General Secretary Toshihisa Nagura, Mr. Espinós was welcomed by Nippon Budokan General Secretary Yoshio Mifuji. At the meeting, the premises of Nippon Budokan were reviewed, and the particularities of Karate were analysed.
WKF President hailed Nippon Budokan and defined the arena as “the perfect venue for the Olympic debut of our sport”.
“We could not imagine a better setting for our first Olympic experience. Nippon Budokan is the second home for all karatekas and the true ‘mecca’ of our sport. Fifty years later of our first World Championships which were held here at Nippon Budokan, Karate will come full circle with the celebration in this very same venue of our first Olympic tournament. We are really thankful for all the support we are receiving from Nippon Budokan officials headed by Mr. Mifuji, and we are convinced that together we will continue making history for our sport,” declared Mr. Espinós.
(Picture: From left to right: Nobuya Nagashima, Yoshinobu Yoshino, Antonio Espinos, Yoshio Mifuji, Toshihisa Nagura, Masayasu Kametani, Masanori Kataoka and Hideaki Miyoshi)