According to Tõnu Tõniste, vice-president of the Estonian NOC, cooperation with the city of Saku provides a good opportunity to thoroughly prepare near Tokyo, the Olympic city of 2020.
“Professional sports require good preparation, and it is really important that athletes can prepare in similar conditions and acclimate their bodies before the Olympics. I am really glad that we have good friends now in Japan thanks to the city of Saku whose hospitality Estonian athletes can very soon count on. It helps a lot,” said Tõniste.
Seiji Yanagida, the mayor of Saku, added that the Estonians are very welcome in the town of 100 000 inhabitants.
“There will be a lot of people visiting Japan and Tokyo in the course of next year but we would specifically like to welcome Estonians and help them in their preparation. We want Estonian athletes to do their best and that is why we support them,” said Yanagida.
Saku (佐 久) is a town in the Nagano Prefecture, about one and a half hours by Nagano High Speed Train from Tokyo Station. The town became a partner city for Saku, Estonia in 2007. In the past 12 years, close cooperation has taken place in education, culture, economy, as well as other fields.