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The Embassy’s cricket team travels to Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture in a sporting show of support for local communities.
On Saturday 7 September, the British Embassy Tokyo cricket team travelled to Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, to play a special Friendship Cricket Match against a Tohoku team formed of Japanese and international players from the Tohoku region.
Organised in cooperation with the Japan Cricket Association (JCA), the event was supported by British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) and British Hills, who provided a selection of British refreshments for the players and crowd that gathered to watch the match.
The event was also attended by Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma. British Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens joined the match, playing for the Embassy team. Speaking to media, the Ambassador said:
The reason we wanted to come is because the people in places like this are being forgotten. We are not playing down the problems that exist at the Fukushima plant or for the people who are having to deal with the situation here. Obviously there is a question of safety, but we are one of the leading nations helping to tackle this problem. The British government has from the start been led by the science in its response to the situation at Fukushima.
The Tohoku XI team won the match by 34 runs, taking home the trophy just hours before Tokyo was chosen over Madrid and Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.