President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has visited Odawara City and met with Kenichi Kato, the Mayor of the city, as part of his ongoing visit to Japan. The President is in Japan on an official visit to attend the official enthronement of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum throne earlier this year, following the abdication of Emperor Akihito.
During the meeting, President Solih and Mayor Kenichi discussed ways to learn from each other in various areas. President Solih expressed his hope to further extend the close relations between the two countries at national and provincial levels, and share best practices among the local governments.
Speaking further, President Solih conveyed his sincere sympathies to the Mayor and the people of Odawara who were affected by Typhoon Hagibis. He further commended the Japanese Government for its swift action to recover from the damage.
While Japan hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, Odawara City will host the Maldivian athletes competing in the games during the pre-game training and the event. The athletes will train at the Shiroyama Athletic Field in Odawara City—first built in 1955—with eight tracks, five throwing event areas and 12 jumping event areas for Olympic sports.
The Mayor expressed his confidence that Odawara will extend every support necessary to the Maldivian athletes during their training. Odawara is the economic and cultural hub of the southern Kantō region, and while it is the host city to the Maldivian athletes, the town’s residents will also be the cheering squad for the various events participated by the Maldivian teams.
Following the meeting, the President also attended a lunch hosted by Mayor Kenichi, and visited the Shiroyama Athletic Field and the Suzuhiro Kamaboko (Fish Cake) Factory. Established in 1865, the Suzuhiro Kamaboko now specialises in processing kamaboko—a Japanese processed seafood product made from pounded white fish—with a strong commitment to sustainability, conservation and innovation.