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Eichi Kawatei

Eichi Kawatei

Photo credit: Yoshiharu Yokoyama

It is with great sorrow that we report the news that Eiichi Kawatei of Japan passed away on Saturday, August 3rd at the age of 79. He had dedicated himself to the development of tennis in Japan, Asia and the world for the past 40 years. In doing so he served in various capacities with the ITF including, as a member of the Board of Directors of the ITF and Chairman of the Juniors Committee.

He was the founder of the International Tennis Club of Japan in 1978, when he was working as a photo journalist in tennis. For his work in tennis internationally and in Asia and Japan he was elected an honorary member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in 1993. Among his many other achievements, he was elected an Honorary Life Vice President of the ITF and served on the Japanese Olympic Committee.

He will be remembered by his many friends in the IC family for his enthusiasm, his dedication to the promotion of tennis, particularly among students at university, for his unflagging energy in helping to develop tennis in his region and for officiating and organising events and IC events in particular.

Barry Weatherill, former Chairman of the IC Council remembers Eiichi in his many roles in tennis:

" Eiichi was ever present at so many big tennis events around the world, including Wimbledon and General Meetings of the Council. His presence ensured that the Western hemisphere remained in touch with tennis activity in his region and benefitted from understanding the issues and developments there.

He was responsible for the foundation of the IC of Japan in 1978 and for organising the IC Week in Yomokoko, Japan.

In his extraordinarily busy life in tennis he found time with his wife Toshi to act as tour leader when a team from the All England Club visited China in November 2006. He will be remembered by his colleagues in international tennis for the many good turns he has performed for others during his lifetime.

The world of tennis has lost a great friend and contributor and on behalf of my colleagues in the IC and from a personal perspective I would like to record our gratitude to Eiichi for his work and efforts and to send out heartfelt condolences to Toshi and Eiichi's close family

Paul McNamee, President of the IC of Australia, adds on behalf of the IC of Australia:

"Eiichi Kawatei will be greatly missed. He was one of, if not the most, important contributor to tennis in the Asia/Pacific region. He was a frequent and most welcome visitor to Australia, where his knowledge, wisdom and integrity were very highly regarded. Eiichi had that amazing ability to always greet people with a warm smile and genuine hand of friendship. On a personal level I, like so many of us, have lost a long and dear tennis friend. Our deepest condolences to Eiichi's family"
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