From left, Scott Ito, project director of Budokan of Los Angeles; Bill Watanabe, LTSC executive director; Noritoshi Kanai, chairman of Mutual Trading Co. Inc.; and Kosei Yamamoto, president /CEO of Mutual Trading Co. Inc.

On June 8, Noritoshi Kanai, chairman of Mutual Trading Co. Inc., presented a $20,000 check to the Budokan of Los Angeles, a project of the Little Tokyo Service Center.

The donation will go toward the capital campaign to assist in building a major sports and activities center in Little Tokyo.

The Budokan project site is located at 237-249 Los Angeles St., between Second and Third, near the Little Tokyo Branch Library and Vibiana LA. The project will consist of a gymnasium, community space and a rooftop park with a walking/jogging track, playground, Japanese garden/performance space and reading grove; and will feature an array of sports (basketball, volleyball and martial arts), special events, tournaments, and programming for all ages.

“We are very excited to support the Budokan project and share in your vision of building a major sports and activities center in Little Tokyo,” said Kanai. “We strongly believe the Budokan project will be welcomed by all, including the Little Tokyo community and government officials, businesses and most of all, the Nikkei community, who love sports.”

The Budokan of Los Angeles is currently working on a $22 million capital campaign that was launched in August 2011. LTSC anticipates the capital campaign to run for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 years, with groundbreaking expected in 2014 and the completion of the facility in 2016.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of LTSC, we are very honored to receive this generous donation from Noritoshi and Fusako Kanai for the Budokan project,” said Bill Watanabe, LTSC executive director. “This donation is an indication of the interest in the project and represents significant support from our local Japanese American community, and overall will help us in building momentum with our campaign.”

LTSC Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community-based organization that has been providing services for over 30 years to the greater Los Angeles community. Programs include but are not limited to: assistance for victims of domestic violence, support groups, child abuse and neglect
outreach, emergency food and shelter assistance, affordable housing, and community redevelopment.

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