The Japan-Greece Society, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, has partnered with the city of Misato, Saitama Prefecture, and the Japanese participants of the Spartathlon ultramarathon to help raise relief money for Greece.
The drive, which took place between Sept. 6 and Oct. 8, was organized in the wake of the devastating wildfires that ravaged the country this summer, resulting in Greece losing over 116,000 hectares of forests and farmland, as well as dozens of homes.
The three-way partnership seems more than apt, since Misato was the Greek Olympic team’s host city during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this year, going as far as to welcome its guests by decorating its new stadium in a white-and-blue tartan pattern representing the colors of the Greek flag. The Spartathlon has an even stronger connection to the country as a 246-kilometer ultramarathon held every year between Athens and Sparta to commemorate the historic run of Pheidippides before the Battle of Marathon. The race’s 89 Japanese participants have all chipped in to help out Greece in its time of need.
Together, they’ve managed to raise ¥3,837,230 for the cause. The money was presented in a quiet ceremony to Constantin Cakioussis, the Greek ambassador to Japan, at the ambassador’s residence on Oct. 19 by representatives of the Japanese Spartathlon Team, the Japan-Greece Society and the city of Misato.
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