15m 00s
Host Town Tales: Tsurugashima City Meets Myanmar
Culture Crossroads
15m 00s

Broadcast on March 21, 2020
Available until March 21, 2021

Tsurugashima City, Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo became Myanmar's host town in 2017. Since then, the citizens have been deepening their direct interactions with Myanmar. And now, they're preparing to welcome young judo athletes from Myanmar -- with food. Some restaurant owners created original "host town dishes" that combine Myanmar ingredients and local specialties of Tsurugashima. Will these culinary experts be able to win the hearts of Myanmar athletes? One reason that Tsurugashima became the host town is a scholarship set up by the city's 97-year-old resident, Imaizumi Seiji. He fought in Southeast Asia during World War II, as a soldier. Imaizumi says he could survive, thanks to kind help of the people in Myanmar. After the war, he launched a scholarship for students from Myanmar out of gratitude for kindness of the people in the country. Nearly 200 students from Myanmar have studied in Japan on the scholarship, which has contributed a lot to bilateral exchanges.