During HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud’s visit to Japan this week, it seemed that she and the Japanese Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology undertook a friendly one-on-one table tennis match. A video online has recorded the match between the two dignitaries, which shows the two at the paddles and apparently in good spirits. While the imagination would like to see powerful smashes and drives across the table, maybe with some over-dramatic cries of effort, the affair was very jovial and relaxed, with plenty of smiles and laughter from the two opponents and equally enthusiastic applause from their audience.
It would seem that HRH saw victory in the match, and she took this with much-goodhearted grace, giving a playfully sheepish shrug and a deep bow of respect to Minister Hase Hiroshi. It seems that her victory came despite Princess Reema being at a bit of a disadvantage, as Mr. Hase was a former Pro-Wrestling star before he entered into Japanese politics.
The visit took place with the aims of promoting sporting relationships and goodwill between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Japan, with the two seeking collaboration on a number of field sports. Princess Reema was leading the visit on behalf of the Saudi Government as part of her role as Undersecretary President of the Women’s Department of the General Authority for Sport. In particular, the Saudi Government wished for Saudi students to be able to study Japanese sports such as judo and karate within their native country.
“We want to improve the environment for women’s sports in Saudi Arabia, and endorse scholarships in Japanese Universities,” Princess Reema was reported to have stated to journalists and officials present.
The necessary agreement allowing for Saudi students to study sports within Japan was signed by both parties shortly before their match.