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KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 -- The Malaysia Judo Federation (MJF) was conferred the Japanese Foreign Ministry Commendation for the Year 2020 for its outstanding contribution to the deepening of Malaysia-Japan friendship.
The award was presented by the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Oka Hiroshi to MJF President Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong, here, on Thursday.
Oka pointed out that MJF has been actively introducing and promoting judo, a Japanese martial arts, to the Malaysian military and police forces.
Since representing Malaysia on the world stage, the federation has also been actively facilitating and organising many international championships such as the 2016 Jigoro Kano Cup International Judo Tournament in Penang, which involved 200 judo practitioners from 15 countries.
“MJF has continued to work for promoting judo across the country and making judo widely common in Malaysia.
“The various exchanges through Judo which MJF has organised has strengthened friendship between Japan and Malaysia, for which Japan is deeply grateful,” he said.
Oka said although the Malaysian Judo team will not participate in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he is certain that MJF would continue its support for Malaysian Judoka (judo practitioners) and hoped to see its participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
He also expressed hope that Judo will be introduced into Malaysian schools as part of extra-curricular activities in the near future.
Meanwhile, Lim said MJF is looking forward to working closely with the Japanese Embassy in Malaysia to promote the love of judo as well as to foster friendships between both countries.
He noted that there have been encouraging signs that the sport is now seeing a revival in this country.
“In 2019, we had two athletes winning the International Junior and Cadet titles. Our top junior judoka is currently ranked number 20 in the World Junior International rankings,” Lim said.
The award was conferred every year by the Japanese Foreign Minister on individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the deepening of friendship with Japan.