To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the East Asian Football Federation, a reception was held at Tokyo Midtown (Tokyo). More than 200 guests attended the event, where the progress of the member associations was introduced, and together they celebrated the friendship and development that have been fostered over the past five years
Mr. Xie Yalong, President of EAFF
The President of EAFF, Mr. Xie Yalong, opened the reception with a welcoming speech, stressing the enthusiasm for the East Asian Football Championship, to be held in February of next year in Chongqing, and emphasizing the need for further cooperation among the member associations:
“We will strengthen our relationship with FIFA and AFC and other regional federations, as cooperation brings progress and development. We will strengthen internal communication and mutual support within our Federation, giving support and assistance to member associations where football is not so well developed, so as to advance the development of East Asian football as a whole.”
Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, Honorary Patron of JFA
Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado delivered a message on behalf of the distinguished guests:
“It is a great pleasure to be with you on the occasion of the 5th birthday of the EAFF. We have heard of the success that EAFF has had in terms of the results we have seen in the improvement of the level of football in East Asia. I also have great hopes for the improvement of the feelings of camaraderie, of friendship and strong ties between the membership nations. I am a strong believer in sports and in football. Through football, we can educate children, teach them team spirit, which is the basis of human society, so they can use what they learn on the pitch to become responsible members of society. Through football we can promote peace and friendship. I hope FIFA and all of the adults around EAFF will continue to look after and nurture this 5-year-old.”
Mr. Shun-ichiro Okano, Honorary President of EAFF
Mr. Shun-ichiro Okano, Honorary President of EAFF, gave a toast to celebrate the occasion:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the member associations, members of the Executive Committee, sponsors and the media for their cooperation and collaboration. I am also very pleased to welcome our football friends from the Northern Mariana Islands as an associate member of EAFF.”
The guests sampled noodles from the ten member associations as they enjoyed each other's company.
Dato' Peter Velappan, Former General Secretary of AFC
Former AFC General Secretary, Dato' Peter Velappan, offered a kind message:
“China will host the FIFA Women's World Cup, Korea Rep. will host the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and Japan will host the FIFA Club World Cup. FIFA fully supports the EAFF, and you have a huge future ahead of you. I will continue to watch the progress, so good luck to you and please world very hard. As I said five years ago, the future is Asia, and that must start in this region of East Asia.”
A Performance of Ethnic Instruments from Japan, China, Korea and Mongolia
Musicians playing traditional instruments from Japan, China, Korea and Mongolia performed a series of music, including the official anthem of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™.
Following the music entertainment was a demonstration of carved noodles from Shanxi. EAFF President, Mr. Xie, joined the chef in carving the noodles and delighted the on-looking guests.
Mr. Junji Ogura, Vice President of EAFF
A speech was delivered by EAFF Vice President, Mr. Junji Ogura:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your kind attendance to the 5th anniversary of EAFF, and I hope you will continue to support us as we endeavor to make further progress.”
A traditional “sanbonjime” ceremony, with the clapping of the hands, marked the close of the reception, as the solidarity of the ten member associations was confirmed and EAFF pledged to become a powerful force in the world of football.