TOKYO, Sep. 9 ― Representatives of agricultural cooperatives in Iwate Prefecture including Norio Kubo, chairman of the central union of agricultural cooperatives in Iwate Prefecture (JA Iwate Prefecture Central Union) and Iwate Headquarters of National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH Iwate), met with Shunichi Suzuki, the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, on September 8, 2017. The party presented Suzuki a bouquet and pots of fresh gentians produced by growers in Iwate Prefecture. It was part of the efforts to communicate the charm of the flowers from Iwate to the world through the exposure at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Game. Minister Suzuki responded positively toward the action.
The gentian bouquet handed to the minister was made of gentians of original varieties developed by one of the agricultural cooperatives in Iwate, JA Shin-Iwate.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan, Iwate Prefecture grew 60% of gentians distributed nationwide in 2016. The best season of gentians starts in July, just in time for the international gathering of athletes in Tokyo. If the flowers are used at the related facilities of the world gathering, it will be a great promotional opportunity. “Showing the world the attractiveness of the flowers at the Olympic and Paralympic Games will hopefully accelerate our reconstruction efforts from the earthquake and motivate our growers,” Kubo emphasized.
“It’s important to let the world know the charm of Japanese flowers at the 2020 Olympics,” Suzuki said. “I’d like to support the ideas (of decorating the airports and the athletes’ village with the flowers),” he added.