Tashima paid a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border where he presented on behalf of the Japan Football Association a donation of 500 footballs and 300 football shoes to Syrian children housed at the camp, aiming to contribute to the well-being of their physical and mental health and to assist with ongoing projects supported by the Jordan Football Association as well as the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), a non-profit youth commission headed by Prince Ali. At the camp, Tashimawitnessed one of AFDPs Mine Risk Education workshops designed to promote mine awareness amongst children at risk.
Japan Football Association has supported Prince Ali centers over several years and this year will be joined by AFDP and its Official Partner PepsiCo to further expand the quality and capacity of the Prince Ali Centers which serve youth across the Kingdom.
At a press conference prior to the Zaatari visit, Prince Ali expressed his appreciation to the Japanese football family for their efforts, “I would like to thank the Japan Football Association for their continuos support and Mr. Tashima for his visit which reflects Japans excellence in both football development and humanitarian service.”
“When my country suffered from a big earthquake in 2011, the football families from all over the world reached out to help us. It really encouraged us. Japan Football Association also would like to support people who are facing a difficult situation. We sincerely hope this small gift will bring the Syrian children in Zaatari Camp some joy and hope through playing football or any other sports, until the day when they are able to live their life in peace,” Tashima said.
The two football officials also discussed development of the game in both countries and in the continent, as well as the close cooperation between their associations especially in the field of grassroots and in womens football development where the Jordan womens team reached the Asian Championship with the leadership of Japanese coach Masahiko Okiyama. The cooperation is expected to grow further upon signing a partnership agreement currently under discussion to share technical expertise on grassroots, women and league levels in the near future.