Putin invites judo team to Russia

MOSCOW (Kyodo) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has invited the Japanese national judo team to train in Russia following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan last Friday.

Speaking to Russian news services at his estate outside Moscow on Tuesday, Putin, who is a black belt in judo, said he has contacted the Russian judo federation about the offer extended to the Japanese national judo team and their families.

The Russian Judo Federation made an official offer to the All Japan Judo Federation the same day. Putin is a well-known judo enthusiast.

“We wish to extend our assistance so that the Japanese team can continue training in Russia at this time of difficulty from the earthquake disaster,” said one Russian top-ranking judo official.