The event was organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security in coordination with the Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun Group with the aim of promoting cultural exchanges and cooperation between law enforcement forces, businesses and people of the two countries.
The event saw the presence of Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Thanh, Deputy Minister of Public Security of Vietnam, Mr. Umeda Kunio, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Vietnam and his spouse, Mr. Kuroiwa Yuji, Governor of Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture, Mr. Kanetaka Masahito, Former Commander of the Japanese National Police Agency; Mr. Hirota Katsumi, Member of Board of Directors, Executive Board of Mainichi Newspaper Group (Japan), among others.
The 2019 Kizuna Ekiden Relay Run for Traffic Safety drew the participation of 250 teams from Vietnamese and Japanese police forces, agencies and joint ventures. Athletes were divided into teams of four, of which each member ran a distance of 3.4km and handed over a sash known as a Tasuki to another member of the team. The run was a 14km relay course around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Thanh said that over the past years, the relationship between Vietnam and Japan has developed in a comprehensive, intensive and effective manner, particularly in as the fields of politics, economy, culture, national defense and security. Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Thanh described the 2018 Kizuna Ekiden Relay Run for Traffic Safety as an event of great significance, saying that it created a chance for the police forces and enterprises of the two countries to enhance their cultural and sport exchanges, and strengthen solidarity, friendship and mutual understanding.
Mr. Umeda Kunio, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Vietnam, thanked the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, the Mainichi Group for the organization of the event and enterprises for their great contributions to the event.
According to the organizing committee, the participating teams were divided into two categories: Kizuna group (including13 four-member police teams with at least one Vietnamese or one Japanese) and Ekiden group (regardless of nationality)
Besides the official prizes, the organizing committee also handed extra awards, such as: Unique Costume Award; Wonder Women Award; Most Enthusiastic Cheer Award...
* Some photos of the event:
* After the run, the Japanese Band delivered art performances in the walking zone around Hoan Kiem Lake.