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Ukraine-Japan charity football match supports recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine
Tokyo/Kyiv - On International Migrants Day (18 December), one of Ukraine's top football clubs, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and Japan's Avispa Fukuoka faced off in Tokyo in a charity football match to raise funds for urgent reconstruction and development efforts in Ukraine.
Co-organized by the Japan Football Association, Japan Professional Football League, and private-sector partner Property Business Network Association and APAMAN Co., Ltd. with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the event brought together more than 18,000 football fans at the Japan National Stadium, Tokyo.
Sergiy Korsunsky, Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan and Yoko Kamikawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan were among the guests. Displaced Ukrainians including children currently living in Japan were also invited and enjoyed the match which finished with 2-2 draw.
The charity match also raised funds online for displaced and vulnerable populations, in an effort to ease the catastrophic consequences of the war across Ukraine.
"During my visit to Ukraine last April, I saw the extensive damage in places like Bucha and Irpin and grasped the magnitude of the devastation," stated Koji Omura, CEO of APAMAN. "To foster a spirit of support for Ukraine in Japan, we planned this event with our partner IOM,” he added.
In June 2023, the Property Business Network Association, Japan's largest housing rental management association to which APAMAN is a member, initiated a project in collaboration with IOM. This project aims to rehabilitate residential units in Irpin, a symbol of Ukrainian resistance due to its civic mobilization against invaders in March 2022.
According to the World Bank the estimated cost of Ukraine’s reconstruction is USD 411 billion, with USD 14 billion required for priority reconstruction and recovery investments in 2023.
“Football has the power to unite people globally. During this charity game, we have united to raise funds for a common goal - to alleviate the suffering of war survivors and make our contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine,” said Serhii Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk General Director.
Both teams boast impressive track records in top leagues and actively contribute to societal causes, supporting children, vulnerable groups, and disabled people. Utilizing its strong network in Ukraine to implement a wide range of humanitarian and development assistance, IOM supported bringing the two teams together.
All proceeds collected from the charity match and an online fundraiser will be dedicated to aiding people of Ukraine.
Daihei Mochizuki, IOM Chief of Mission in Japan thanked all those who supported the initiative during the halftime ceremony and said, “I am very pleased that a charity match has been organized on International Migrants Day to bring attention to the needs of people on the move around the world who seek safety and a better life. ”
In addition to the support from the Japanese private sector, the Government of Japan has been consistently supporting IOM Ukraine, providing funding for a range of emergency services.
For more information, please contact:
In Kyiv, Stylia Kampani, Tel: +380 66 943 5861, Email: email@example.com
In Tokyo, Aoba Niki, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org