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Putin Invites Boy Judo Contestant to Tokyo Banquet

Date Posted: 2000-09-08

Shu Shikiya is a 15-year old middle school third grader who gained fame when he took a judo bout with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the presidentís visit to Gushikawa Junior High School during the G-8 Summit in Okinawa.

Shikiya was one of the three persons from Okinawa invited to attend a state dinner in honor of Putin who is currently on a state visit to Japan. The banquet was held in Tokyoís Geihinkan yesterday. Shikiya got the invitation through the Japanese Prime Ministerís Office at the special request of the Russian President.

The other two persons from Okinawa to attend were Governor Keiichi Inamine and Gushikawa City Mayor Tsuneo Chinen. President Putin greeted Shikiya warmly upon his arrival at the banquet hall and said that he would love to have another bout of judo with the youth.

During his visit to the youth judo tournament at Gushikawa Junior High School Putin caused a minor stir among his entourage and hosts alike when he unexpectedly threw his jacket off and challenged Shikiya to a match. Putin the proceeded to throw Shikiya over his shoulder scoring an ippon which Shikiya then reciprocated.

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