V-Varen Nagasaki chairman’s ‘Peace Derby’ proposal gains support of Hiroshima mayor

Support continues to grow for a proposed “Peace Derby” between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and V-Varen Nagasaki in next season’s MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.

Following V-Varen’s magical promotion run and Sanfrecce’s rebound to avoid relegation, the two J.League sides will meet for the first time ever.

In a speech to club supporters following their promotion-clinching result, V-Varen’s charismatic chairman Akira Takata referred to the shared history between the two cities.

“Nagasaki, like Hiroshima, suffered an atomic bombing; we are perhaps the only club(s) in the world in such a good position to promote peace,” he said after the team’s dramatic win over Kamatamare Sanuki on November 11. “Can we take on that responsibility and spread peace with the world through Nagasaki?”

On Wednesday, Takata revealed on local television station NBC Nagasaki that he received a congratulatory letter from Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui, who expressed his desire to “play a match together for peace.”

Such a match could take potentially place on the weekend of August 4 and 5 or 11 and 12, shortly before or after the 73rd anniversary of the bombings which brought the conclusion of World War II.

For the last three seasons, V-Varen have worn “peace prayer” uniforms in August featuring designs inspired by the famous Peace Statue in Nagasaki Peace Park as well as paper cranes, which are associated with peace and good luck in Japan.