Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu to attend Japan-China 50th anniversary event – Kyodo News Plus

Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu to attend Japan-China 50th anniversary event – Kyodo News Plus

KYODO NEWS KYODO NEWS – 6 hours ago – 19:30 | Sports, All
Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, a star in China, will attend an event to be held in Tokyo later this month to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic ties, the head of the organizer said Friday.
Japan’s double Olympic champion Hanyu, who retired from competition in July, is also popular in China. During the Beijing Olympics earlier this year, the country’s media repeatedly reported about Hanyu fever at home.
Hanyu is a “youngster who is loved much both in China and Japan” and “acts as a role model for young people,” Jiang Xiaosong, who heads the organizing committee of events related to the anniversary, said at a press conference in Tokyo.
The figure skater, who became the youngest recipient of the Japanese government’s People’s Honor Award at age 23 in 2018, is set to appear at the event scheduled to take place in the evening of Sept. 29.
But the organizer stopped short of revealing what Hanyu will do at the event, saying only that he “will not give a figure skating performance.”
Hanyu has drawn attention in China since 2014, when he had a bloody collision with a Chinese skater during the official practice before winning the silver medal at the Cup of China in Shanghai.
In February this year, Chinese fans were upset as his eight-year reign as Olympic champion had ended in Beijing.
At the event, Zhang Hina, a young Chinese player of “erhu,” the nation’s instrument like a violin, is slated to play music. Japanese violinist Ikuko Kawai and Hideki Togi, a musician of ancient Japanese court music “gagaku,” also plan to perform.
Ahead of the evening event in late September, symposiums on topics such as environment, medical care and tourism will be held in Tokyo, according to the organizer.
Toshihiro Nikai, known as a pro-China veteran politician of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, would be among those expected to participate in one of them.
“Relations between the governments of Japan and China as well as people of the two nations are not that good now, but precisely because of that, we have to do something for a better relationship as Japan and China are neighboring countries,” Jiang said.
On Sept. 29, meanwhile, the Japan Business Federation, the nation’s most powerful business lobby better known as Keidanren, and groups dedicated to promoting Japan-China friendship will organize another event at a Tokyo hotel.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to take part in the event, a source close to the matter said.
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KYODO NEWS KYODO NEWS – 6 hours ago – 19:38 | Sports, All
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