A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Japan participated in the torch race ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Barak Shine took part in the traditional torch race that arrived in Watari, the host city of the Israeli delegation to the Olympic Games. In preparation for the torch’s arrival, the city’s residents prepared Israeli flags and posters in support of the Jewish state’s delegation.
The city of Watari, located on Japan’s eastern coast, was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. After the disaster, Israel was the first country to send a medical aid delegation to Japan. The Israeli Embassy maintains contact with city officials and has been a supporter for several years of leadership programs at local community centers.
Two years ago, Watari was declared Israel’s “host city” and since then the Israeli flag has been flown at the city hall and signs have been installed in support of the Israeli delegation to the Olympics.
The Host Cities Initiative is an initiative to establish a long-term connection between local authorities on the Japanese periphery and the countries competing in the Olympic Games.
Embassy spokesman Barak Shine said: “The support during the race reflects the great appreciation of the Japanese locals for Israel and the close relationship between the two countries. I hope Israeli athletes will succeed in the various competitions.”