Zagreb, November 9, 2019 – The Day of Japan in Croatia – an exceptionally eventful happening - was held at the Zagreb Museum Mimara, organized by the Japanese Embassy in the Republic of Croatia, led by the Ambassador Misako Kaji. The Japanese Ambassador, true lover of Croatia and Croatian sports, had the introductory word, followed by the welcoming speeches of partners in the organization of the event - leader of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša and leader of the Croatian Paralympic Committee Ratko Kovačić. One of the participants was, of course, the Croatian Olympic Academy, whose President Tonči Tadić was also the moderator of an extremely interesting panel-event in Mimara.
It was all in the sign of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year, and the central Toyota panel titled 'Nothing is Impossible' featured the meeting of two Olympic generations. Water polo silver Olympians Tokyo 1964 - Zlatko Šimenc, Ivan Trumbić, Frano Nonković and Karlo Stipanić - remembered the Olympics with a noticeable nostalgia, and the equivalent next year’ sports spectacle in Tokyo was announced by the evident Olympian, the gymnast Tin Srbić and potential Olympians Kristina Tomić (Taekwondo) and Ana Lenard (Karate). Paralympic candidates for Tokyo 2020 - Helena Dretar Karić and Pavao Jozić, both representatives of the Paralympic Table Tennis, and Damir Juren, representative in Paralympic Boccia – presented an event that will take place at the same venues in the Japanese capital, only two weeks later - the Paralympic Games 2020. The panel was additionally adorned by the water polo trophy Olympians Tomislav Paškvalin and Dubravko Šimenc (present in the audience), as well as the excellent fitness coach Pero Kuterovac, who takes great care of preparations of Croatian water polo players.
The project of the Croatian House in Tokyo was presented by COC’s Assistant Secretary General Ranko Ćetković, who explained that for the first time in the history of Croatian Olympism – as the so-far most favorable solution for the Olympics - the Croatian House will be arranged within the Croatian Embassy in Japan.
The celebration of Day of Japan sparked great attention among the Croatian citizens. In the long lines in front of the Mimara museum people were waiting for a written message in Japanese language, photographing in traditional Japanese costumes, drinking tea or getting acquainted with this tradition, as well as creating ikebana and origami, which was attended by the youngest visitors. (COC/VK)