近畿大学工業高等専門学校


The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
 
On September 8th (Japan time), Tokyo was elected as the site of the 2020 Olympic games.  We welcome the decision by the international Olympic Committee in their choice of Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid.
 
What impressed us most, when the results were presented, was the reaction of the people in Turkey.  In spite of their defeat in the election, they showed warm feelings toward Japan and they carried congratulation messages on Twitter.  According to NHK, the most influential broadcast company in Japan, the number of the messages surpassed 150,000 in 18 hours after the announcement of the result.
 
Why so many messages?  One speculation is that many Turkish people have high regards for Japanese people.  This is because in 1890 a ship of the Ottoman Navy, the Ertugral Frigate, sank off the island of Ooshima (part of the town of Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture) because of a severe typhoon.  People of the town helped save 69 of the 609 crew.  According to the homepage of the Turkish Embassy in Japan, in memory of the sunken ship and of the pioneers of the new Turkish-Japanese friendship, the Ertugrul Monument was built near the site of the tragedy.
 
Our school has a little to do with Kushimoto.  Two and a half years ago our school moved to Nabari from Kumano, which is located only about 80 kilometers away from Kushimoto.  In our school there are several teachers and students from Kushimoto; they can be proud of their ancestors who made a great effort to rescue the Turkish crew of the doomed Ertugral Frigate.
 
Recently, Japan has had some difficult times because of the severe earthquake and tidal wave in the Tohoku area and of economic problems. However, the announcement of the 2020 Olympic Games gives us hope and courage.
 
It is a good chance to hold the sporting event because we will have many opportunities to think about our lives from health and economy to cultural dimensions such as language, communication and sightseeing.  And in the middle of such a worldly event, we should not forget our friendship with Turkey.
 
One idea to promote the friendship might be to invite young Turkish people to let them watch the games in the Olympics. It is expected that both countries will continue to cooperate with each other and strengthen their relationship in the future.
 
(Haruki Takeuchi)