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Fukuoka Pref. Promoting "Judo Tourism" to Foreigners

Fukuoka Pref. Promoting "Judo Tourism" to Foreigners

   Fukuoka, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)--The Fukuoka prefectural government is trying to attract more foreign visitors to the southwestern Japan prefecture by promoting what it calls judo tourism.
   Judo is particularly popular in Fukuoka, where a number of children are training at dojos in their towns including one opened in the Meiji period (1868-1912). Ryoko Tani, a female judoka who won gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, and Kazuhiro Ninomiya, a male Olympic gold winner in 1976, were among such kids.
   Given a sharp rise in the number of foreigners interested in Japanese martial arts, the prefectural government is planning group tours to dojos where participant can take judo lessons, learn specific manners and interact with masters, Fukuoka government officials said.
   According to the officials, Fukuoka aims to leverage the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to drive up demand for the judo tourism.
   Under the policy, the city of Fukuoka, the prefectural capital, has cut a deal with Sweden to host its judo national team, the city of Munakata with Bulgaria, the cities of Koga and Fukutsu jointly with Rumania, and the city of Kurume with Kazakhstan. In addition, the city of Omuta is negotiating with Georgia.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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