Report- Scottish Rugby reception at the Scottish Parliament

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On the 15th January, Consul General Nozomu Takaoka attended the Scottish Rugby- Reception held at the Scottish Parliament. Also in attendance was head coach of the Scotland rugby team, Mr Gregor Townsend; Scottish Rugby's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Dominic McKay; Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick MSP; Liam McArthur MSP; as well as young players from Scottish Rugby's Schools of Rugby Under-16 team, who toured Nagasaki last August.

In the opening addresses, Mr McArthur MSP made reference to the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019, and also read a letter of thanks from the Mayor of Nagasaki, Mr Tomihisa Taue, who wrote: "It is my hope that the Scottish national team, will think of Nagasaki as a second home".
Following on from this, Mr FitzPatrick MSP expressed his hopes for the continued mutual friendship between Scotland and Japan.
Lastly two of the Under 16's players, Ally Rogers and Jack Chelley, shared their experiences from their time in Japan. Their lasting impression was that, despite the differences in culture, they were all united in their passion for sport- an acknowledgement that received cheers and applause from the other evening guests.

This year's reception was a great opportunity to develop Japanese - Scottish cultural relations ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year, where Scotland are drawn in the same pool as Japan, alongside Russia, Samoa and Ireland.