BEIJING: Young people from Japan and China watched together Sunday’s FIFA World Cup match between Japan and Costa Rica in Qatar in a bilateral exchange event at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.
In the event to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of the two Asian countries’ diplomatic relations, young soccer fans and others gathered and discussed soccer culture in Japan. After the game began, they cheered Japan together.
Japanese and Chinese players “must make improvements through friendly rivalry in order to boost (the soccer world of) entire Asia,” Takeshi Okada, former coach of Japan’s national soccer team, said in a video message to the event.
“China has a tremendous potential,” said Okada, who once led the Hangzhou Greentown professional soccer team. The club has been renamed Zhejiang Greentown.
Shanghai soccer player Chen Binbin, now on loan to the Kataller Toyama team in the third division of Japan’s professional league, also delivered a message.
Chen said that his skills and physical ability have improved since his arrival in Japan, giving words of encouragement to Chinese children.
Among the participants to the event was 34-year-old corporate worker Yang Jin, who became a fan of Japanese soccer through the “Captain Tsubasa” manga series.
Japan’s historic victory over Germany in their World Cup game Wednesday was exciting, Yang said, expressing a wish to visit Japan again after the coronavirus situation improves.