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Shimizu sensei received an award by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kawaraban No. 51


Shimizu sensei received the award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the year Heisei 14 (2002) for his spreading of aikidō abroad for many years.

This public award is given to individuals or organizations for extraordinary merits in promoting multiple amicable contacts with foreign countries and the like. These merits include manifold areas like for example culture, science, arts and society.

The reason for this prize awarded to Shimizu sensei is, „that for more than 24 years, since Showa 53 (1978), he is making efforts to popularize aikidō in many countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and so on, as well as training and guiding the younger generation.

Especially that he conducts seminars in Germany every summer, where students from all over Europe get together, and that by these international activities he has contributed much to the cultural exchange between Japan and different countries as well as to friendly contacts by teaching aikidō in foreign countries.“

The ceremony for the public award took place on July 16th from 11 o’clock in Tōkyō, Azabudai, at the residence of the minister of Foreign Affairs. Besides the local prize winners (ten individuals and ten organizations) and their concerned persons, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Yoshiko Kawaguchi, vice-minister Uetake, vice-minister of parliament Kenshirō Matsunami, state secretary Yukio Takeuchi and employees attended this ceremony.

Minister Kawaguchi commenced the reception with the words: „During the last years the international situation has changed. The improvements of our country’s international position and the influence of increasing international linkage implicates that many people develop activities in different cultural areas via foreign connections.“ And she continued: „Such activities play an extremely important part regarding the promotion of friendly contacts between our country and many other countries, and they contribute in generating peace and wealth for our country and the world.“ By these words honoring the prize winners she remarked, that the purpose of awarding this prize is at the same time a request to all groups of the population for even more understanding and support for these activities.

Thereon followed the awarding of the certificates. Minister Kawaguchi presented the recognition certficates and a silver cup for commemoration to every single prize winner. Thereafter the reception for this ceremony was opened, and after a toast by vice-minister Uetake several rounds of talks were formed.

Since the establishment of the prize awarding by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the year Showa 58(1983) we now go into the 18th year. In the year Heisei 9 (1997) the prize has been awarded to Yasushi Akashi, the deputy chief of the UN. Among the winners in the cultural area have been S. Ichikawa for kabuki, Yoko Morishita for classical ballet, Watanabe for jazz, Fujima for Japanese dance and others, but you can say, that Shimizu sensei is the first aikidō specialist.

Some of the pupils have volunteered to organize a congratulation party. According to present schedule the date will be November 30th from 6 pm at the hotel Ōkura in Tōkyō. Further details will be announced in due course.

( Subsequently a list of the other prize winners follows)

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 04/2003