Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
Thank you for your continuous support towards WKO.
It has been two and a half months since the previous Newsletter. In this period, due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), various countries and regions have carried out government-led measures to prevent further infection, and as WKO, we have done our best in our compliance efforts by canceling or postponing major tournaments, and closing dojos. I hope that you are in good health in your country and region.
In Japan, the state of emergency announced by the government was lifted, and we are trying to rebuild our daily lives, one step at a time. In the current situation, where efforts are being made by the related people to develop the vaccine, we are doing our best in our realistic approach to coexist with this unknown virus, by adjusting our lifestyle to prevent infection, and preparing ourselves for a possible second wave. I have received reports that the virus is spreading rapidly in southern hemisphere countries like Brazil, where people will soon face winter. I wish for the health, safety, and wellbeing of our important friends, and sincerely hope for the closure of this worldwide problem in the very near future. Please continue to take care and stay safe.
Even in this difficult situation, due to the advancements in social media, I was able to enjoy the images of the trainings held online, outside, at home, and the efforts to hold the online Kata competition. On May 30, I was invited to the Europe Region meeting held online, and it was a good opportunity to exchange viewpoints with the Branch Chiefs in the region. More than anything, it was a relief to see everyone’s face, and hear their voices, despite the great distance between us. It was a good opportunity to reconfirm that the warm connection between family and friends is a great source of comfort for the heart and mind in times of uncertainty. Although it was a short amount of time, thank you for inviting me to participate in the meeting. I was also invited to the Asia Region meeting, but the timing of their online gathering did not fit my schedule, so it was not realized. I hope that there will be another opportunity for us to meet and discuss topics online.
To do our best, regardless of the situation and timing. To maintain our approach to pursue the best scenario. As budoka, it is important for us to continue our path towards a firm unshaking spirit, as presented in the dojo oath, especially in this uncertain situation against an unknown opponent. For the competitors that are preparing themselves for the next competition, please understand that the training you are building up now, will strongly influence your result at the upcoming battle, and I sincerely hope that you will use each moment of each day to motivate yourselves. Let us do our best with a positive mind.
Lastly, I believe that the branches and dojos around the world have sustained a substantial level of financial damage due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. In order to ease such situation, I would like to announce the exemption of the WKO annual fee for Fiscal Year 2020, and for such amount to be set aside for the activities of the branch and dojo. The income from this annual fee is approximately 20 million yen, but this exemption was discussed and approved by the WKO Board Members representing the various regions. The annual fee is a contribution that is made from your daily activities around the world. In this situation with the coronavirus, it is best if the amount can be utilized to assist your financial loss due to the problem.
WKO is our organization. WKO is supported by the efforts of the Branch Chiefs and Contacts around the world. Especially in this difficult time, I would like to express my appreciation towards your cooperation and support. My sincere thanks to all of you. Let us continue our movement forward, in strong unity with our comrades around the world.