31 Oct 2018

Sport: Japan's Iwaki City to host Samoan athletes

10:15 am on 31 October 2018

Iwaki City in Japan will host Samoan athletes and officials in the lead-up to 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Samoa Rugby Union Chair and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi signed a statement of Mutual Agreement with Iwaki City Mayor Toshio Shimizu in Apia this week.

Iwaki City Mayor Toshio Shimizu and Samoa PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi shake hands after signing the agreement.

Iwaki City Mayor Toshio Shimizu and Samoa PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi shake hands after signing the agreement. Photo: Supplied/Samoa Government

The agreement covers accommodation, meals, facilities, transport and hospitality.

Tuilaepa says hosting the Manu will save Samoa Rugby Union more than 500,000 Tala.

"For the city to come to our hour of need, is a testament of Iwaki's genuine kindness,"he said.

waki City Mayor Toshio Shimizu and Samoa PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

waki City Mayor Toshio Shimizu and Samoa PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. Photo: Supplied/Samoa Government

"We have long since established an informal mutual understanding with the Iwaki City some years back after they were devastated by a disastrous tsunami.

"Samoa responded with a donation of 100,000 Tala to assist Iwaki with her tsunami recovery effort and as Good Samaritans to Samoa, they have repaid our meagre assistance with humility by helping our Rugby Union and Olympics preparations."

The signing culminates almost two years of negotiations and the two signatories have also endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding which includes a cultural and sports exchange to promote Samoa-Japan relations at the local level.