Japanese School Dubai students present silk scarf to UAE Olympic delegation for Tokyo Olympics 2021


Published: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 3:52 PM

The UAE National Olympics Committee was presented with a silk scarf as part of the UAE-Japan Friendship Silk Project by the Japanese School Dubai students.

By Rhonita Patnaik

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The silk scarf, made from Japanese endemic silkworm ‘Koishimaru’ raised in the UAE by school students, was woven to recreate the UAE national costume and national flag. It was presented to the UAE Olympic delegation to be worn at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

The presentation ceremony was attended by Ahmad Ibrahim Alblooshi, chairman of technical and sports department at the UAE National Olympic Committee (NOC); Sekiguchi Noboru, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai and the Northern Emirates; Dr Azza bint Suleiman, assistant secretary-general for administrative affairs, NOC; Masao Wada, president of Dubai Japanese School; and Masami Ando, managing director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Dubai; along with dignitaries and students from Dubai Japanese School.

Pleased at the children’s efforts, Alblooshi said: “We have been working on this for a year and a half now to reach this point. I am happy that this collaboration was supported by top management and everybody involved. The Dubai Japanese School students have worked hard on this project for the UAE Olympic delegation. We are very proud and thank the support of the Japanese government.”

Expressing his heartfelt gratitude, Consul-General Noboru: “Today, we are witnessing a great achievement by the next generation youngsters, the students of Dubai Japanese School and others. These scarves that are presented to the NOC are made from the silk from Japanese endemic silkworms Koishimaru. I am sure that the Japanese people would be very delighted to know that the UAE delegation to the Tokyo Olympics next month will wear these scarves and march in the opening ceremony of the games.”

Giving further details on the preparation of the games, the C-G said that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be held safely and securely in the face of the risks posed by Covid-19. After the games were postponed for one year in 2020, the Tokyo Olympics will be significant in the face of the following standpoints, he added.

Explaining the above, he continued: “Firstly, to convey the power of sports to the people in Japan and across the world; secondly, to show Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011; and lastly, to showcase the rebuilding of Japan in optimum time to overcome the pandemic as well as to tackle the global challenges.

“The Olympic games will also remind us about the unity of people, and nations at large, for building peace throughout the world. We will be able to realise through the games that it is important to exercise efforts. Furthermore, I believe that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be a precious opportunity for Japan to convey its various appeals, including the culture to the world. The Japanese youngsters have already achieved these goals through this silk project. They have worked hard in raising the traditional Japanese silkworm with persistence and the world will definitely find the appeal in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic games through the scarves. I wish this project will contribute to enhancing our mutual understanding and nurturing further friendly relationship between Japan and the UAE.”

Promoting bilateral trade ties between the UAE and Japan, JETRO was leading this project in the UAE. Taking about the organisation’s part, Ando noted: “I am personally impressed on this day. We promote bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. In recent years, the Japanese silk industry has declined. We were approached for this project to make scarves for the NOC delegation and it was implemented with the help of Japanese students and the endemic silkworm. This has become a matter of attention between both nations. The project is also a good opportunity to spread awareness of the Japanese silk business in the UAE.”

He added: “I spoke to the Japanese schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai about the viability of the operation for this project. The response was positive by the students and teachers. It was a tedious project since the silkworm cannot survive in this climate. We made the effort to make this dream project a success. However, this is not the finale, but just the beginning. I think it is wonderful to be able to collaborate for today’s presentation ceremony.”

Remotely participating from Japan, Yano, director of showcasing, Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, stated: “We are only a month away from the start of the Olympic games. The preparations are extremely busy as we are preparing under severe safety measures for the games to be held during the pandemic. With the Expo 2020 Dubai coming up next after the Tokyo Olympics, I hope the children will continue this project and support the relations further.”

According to the Japanese Consul-General, “This ceremony exactly represents the long-standing friendship between the two nations. The silkworm raised by these school children is not easy to raise. It’s a Japanese endemic silkworm species. However, their efforts paid off under this climate and they successfully got the cocoon and the silk to make the scarves. The students put the friendly relationships between the two countries on their minds and tried to contribute to enhancing the ties.”

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