July 18(Monday)

Fantastic!

 

This Women's Soccer World Cup victory is the best gift imaginable to the Japanese people and to the people in the disaster-stricken areas. In Ms. Homare Sawa and her teammates I once again feel the mighty inner strength of Japanese women.

 

The Japanese athletes are relatively small in stature compared with their non-Japanese colleagues. All of us received courage through the battle of "Nadeshiko" Japan, who engage in their hard-fought contests with plays that yield not even an inch and fight to the finish even when they are the underdogs, never giving up.

 

Representing the government on my behalf, Mr. Kan Suzuki, Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology responsible for sports and a very avid soccer fan, went to Frankfurt to support the team. The "Nadeshiko" team will return to Japan tomorrow and will be visiting the Prime Minister's Office. I will convey my most sincere congratulations and thanks to them for producing this superb result.



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