March 28, 2008,09:07 +0900(JST) Visit to Okinawa
A little while ago, I had the opportunity of visiting Okinawa prefecture.
Okinawa in early March - many people especially in business circles would immediately associate it with Daikin Orchid Ladies Gold Tournament which takes place at that time. Many top businessmen take great pleasure in going to Okinawa each year at this time and to meet many successful local people.
The tournament is sponsored by Daikin Industries, Ltd. and Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation. It kicks off the new season’s official fixtures for the LPGA of Japan. Amid the glamour, the serious competitiveness of the professional golf players is evident in this tournament every year, making it an exciting event. This year’s result was a first-time win by Song Bo Bae, defeating Sakura Yokomine who was unable to hold onto her lead.
I am always truly impressed by the dedicated effort that the people of Okinawa put into this event. I won’t refer to the organization of the tournament itself here but in the special pre-tournament events that were held, I heard very useful explanations and comments about what is going on in Okinawa today, what course it is aiming to steer and what the future holds for it.
Okinawa tends to be regarded first and foremost as a prefecture located on the south-western tip of the Japan, a place with regional characteristics. However, I sincerely hope that it will undergo new and successful development, making effective use of its diverse resources such as scenic beauty and entertainment assets for tourism business or human ones.
I have said before that it is my belief and desire for Japan to develop not as a country that is solely focused on its capital but as a country that flourishes on the diversity of its different cities and regions. I would like Okinawa to be the standard bearer in this regard.
Getting back to the golf tournament, there is a preceding pro-am match and I took part in it as well. The lady professional that I paired up with was Ms Midori Yoneyama. She is last year’s defending champion. Not only is she a good professional golfer, she is also an admirable person. I wish her all the best this season.
Now, I’d declared before that I won’t disclose my score in my blog so I will refrain from telling you the result.
Ms Yoneyama made a slow start on the first day of the tournament, which was the day after the pro-am match. Despite her furious fight-back on the final day, she finished 18th.
…I feel a little responsible as the previous day’s partner.