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Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden 2020 celebrates over 130 years of Thai-Japan friendship

Event raises awareness among Japanese tourists about attractions in Thailand, especially Ayutthaya.

Bangkok, 27 November 2019 – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), together with title sponsor Bank of Ayudhya as well as Mainichi Newspapers and RKB Mainichi Broadcasting in Japan, are organising the Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden 2020 on 12 January, 2020, at the Ayutthaya Historical Park. 

The Ekiden is a relay race that focuses on unity and teamwork that in this case will celebrate over 130 years of Thai-Japanese friendship. Runners will hand off the ‘tasuki’ shoulder strap to the next runner much like a baton in a track and field relay event. 

Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden 2020 is limited to only 400 teams, with registration open from now until 30 November, 2019. Each team must have four members and there must be at least one Thai runner and one Japanese runner on the team. The event is also being supported by the Embassy of Japan Thailand, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce Bangkok, Thai-Japanese Association, Japan Thailand Association, Japanese Association in Thailand, and JETRO Bangkok.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and South Pacific (above photo), said, “TAT is proud to have supported the annual Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden event now for four consecutive years. All of TAT’s three offices in Japan have been working closely with partners in Japan to promote the event to encourage Japanese runners to participate. This event helps creates greater awareness among Japanese tourists about attractions in Thailand, including the event’s venue – the Ayutthaya Historical Park.”

The tasuki strap is equipped with a RFID Race Timing chip, which will track runners as they complete the 13.6-kilometre course at the Ayutthaya Historical Park. The winner will be crowned according to the fastest time recorded by the international standard RFID Race Timing chip.

Mr. Seiichiro Akita, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Ayudhya, said that the Krungsri Group is taking part in this annual relay run for the fourth consecutive year since it was first introduced in 2017. 

“This year marks 75 years of Krungsri serving the Thai people and society as a responsible financial institution. Next year will also be a special year of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games hosted by Japan where our parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), operates as the largest financial group.

“As a leading Thai bank with a global reach, Krungsri has adhered to promoting inclusive growth with our determined efforts. We have served society sustainably in many ways, and strongly encouraged Krungsri to contribute to the local communities where we operate. 

“For our birthplace, Ayutthaya province, the annual Krungsri Ayutthaya Kizuna Ekiden event is obviously a reflection of our unique bond with our hometown, where we support the combined efforts of public and private sectors in helping preserve and improve many historic sites through many projects.” 

Mr. Niwat Phatanan, Vice Governor of Ayutthaya province, agreed, “On behalf of Ayutthaya province, we are honoured to host and welcome all Thai and International runners to this important event.

“Runners will also have the opportunity to experience the beauty of the ancient sites around the Ayutthaya Historical Park, and we hope that it will impress everyone enough to welcome them back in the years to come,” he concluded.

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The TAT International Public Relations Division works with traditional and online media channels to promote Thailand as a tourism destination for travellers worldwide.

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