Shima Seiki
Knitting Industry

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Shima Seiki chief carries Olympic torch for Wakayama

Mitsuhiro Shima, President of Shima Seiki, took part in the Olympic torch relay as it passed through Wakayama on its way to Tokyo.

20th April 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Wakayama, Japan


Mr Mitsuhiro Shima, President of Shima Seiki, the leading Japanese flat knitting machine manufacturer, took part in the Tokyo Olympics torch relay when it passed through Wakayama prefecture earlier this month. The relay is currently moving from prefecture to prefecture, beginning in Fukushima and ending in Tokyo.

With the Tokyo Olympics starting in just three-month time, Shima Seiki was invited to take part as one of the prefectures leading companies, and Mr Shima was greatly honoured to take part.

The torch relay worked its way through Wakayama prefecture on 9 and 10 April, and on the first day, the torch, handed over from Mie Prefecture, travelled north on the Kii Peninsula from Shingu City to Wakayama City. On the second day, it ran through the Kinokawa River from Shingu City to Hashimoto City, Wakayama Shimpo, a local newspaper reported.

178 runners from various walks of life and age groups took part, including Rie Tanaka (33) and Kazuhito (35) from Wakayama City, both of whom who represented Japan at the London Olympics in gymnastics.

The Wakayama leg of the torch relay started on 9 April at the Kotonoura intersection on National Route 42 in Kainan City, passing through the port road and Moon Bridge, and headed for the destination of the day, Wakayama Marina City in Wakayama City.

The final runner was Rie Tanaka, who performed a ‘torch kiss’ when inheriting the torch from the previous runner, in front of the Marina City parking lot, raising both hands to the people along the road and smiling.

A celebration was held on the arrival of the torch and three presenting partners performed on stage - the Wakayama High School Dance Club attached to Kinki University and the Chiben Wakayama High School Wind Music Club also livened up the venue in collaboration with local companies. At around 7:40pm Mr. Tanaka inserted the torch on his right and ignited the torch plate, and applause arose from the venue. Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka, chairman of the prefectural executive committee, said: "I am looking forward to the Olympics."

On the second day, under the clear blue sky, we relayed Keyaki Odori from the front of the Wakayama Chamber of Commerce in Wakayama City to the front of JR Wakayama Station.

Kazuhito Tanaka served as the first runner, saying with enthusiasm: "I have various feelings in the torch, so I want to connect firmly." Mayor Masahiro Obana ignited the torch, and Mr. Tanaka shook his hand with a smile and started running.

In Wakayama City, Mr. Mitsuhiro Shima (59), the president of Shima Seiki Manufacturing Ltd. and Ms. Miwako Nishiguchi (48), a prefectural Wakayama Higashi High School teacher, who represented Japan at the Sydney Olympics in fencing, ran with many citizens applauding along the road.

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