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December 2017

2017 Matsuri 1

2017 Matsuri 2

2017 Matsuri 3

2017 Matsuri 4

2017 Matsuri 5

2017 Matsuri 6

2017 Matsuri 7

"Matsuri - Japan Festival"

On 9 December, around 50,000 people gathered at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour for the annual "Matsuri - Japan Festival". The festival aimed to introduce Japanese culture through live presentations of Taiko drums and Bonodori performances. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, origami and flower arrangement workshops were also offered, as well as a range of Japanese food, travel advice and tourism information. The Consulate-General of Japan also had a booth distributing brochures introducing Japanese culture and activities of the Consulate, as well as the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

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2017 JNTO 1

2017 JNTO 2

2017 JNTO 3

Japan Information Night

On 7 December, JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) hosted the Japan Information Night in Sydney. Representatives from Japanese local governments and companies introduced the extensive charms of Japan. In his speech, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka expressed his expectation that this seminar would provide attendees with ample opportunity to develop new and exciting tour programs.

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2017 Essay Contest 1

2017 Essay Contest 2

2017 Essay Contest 3

2017 Essay Contest 4

The 2017 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students Awards Ceremony

On 6 December, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka held the award ceremony for the 2017 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students. Around 80 people attended the award ceremony which included the prize-winning students, their families, school officials, sponsors and Japanese language teachers. Consul-General Takewaka presented awards, plaques and prizes to the 26 student winners and the School of the Year.

We would like to congratulate the prize winners and all the students who took part in this year’s competition, as well as thank the official sponsors for their generous support.

Please click here for the official results of the 2017 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students.

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2017 Emperor's Birthday 1

2017 Emperor's Birthday 2

2017 Emperor's Birthday 3

2017 Emperor's Birthday 4

2017 Emperor's Birthday 5

2017 Emperor's Birthday 6

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception

On 5 December, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka hosted a reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s 84th Birthday and more than 300 guests participated from various fields. The national anthems of both countries were performed by a leading seaman and an able seaman from the Royal Australian Navy. Subsequently, Consul-General Takewaka and Dr Geoff Lee, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, delivered their speeches. Then, guests enjoyed the Kagami-biraki (ceremonial breaking open of the sake barrels), and the Hon. Tom Bathurst, Chief Justice of NSW and Mr Takewaka gave the toast.

In his speech, Consul-General Takewaka said that the year 2017 began with the visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Australia, that top-level talks were regulary held, that this year marked the 60th anniversary of the Japan-Australia Commerce Agreement and that we enjoy the excellent bilateral relationship between Japan and Australia. He also mentioned the Hon Gladys Berejiklian’s visit to Japan as her first official overseas mission, which aimed to not only strengthen trade and cultual ties between Japan and NSW, but also foster active sister-city and sister-state relationships and student exchange.

At the reception, sushi, sake and Japanese food were offered and a booth introducing Japanese airline companies was set up. A Japanese Taiko Drumming group also gave a live performance.

November 2017

Visit to Gosford Garden 1
(Mayor Smith, third from left)

Visit to Gosford Garden 2
(Edogawa Commemorative Gardens)

Consul-General's visit to the Central Coast

On 30 November, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of Central Coast Council, which was established through the merger of Gosford City and Wyong Shire councils in May of this year. Edogawa-ku, Tokyo formed a sister city relationship with Gosford City in 1988.

Consul-General Takewaka met with Mayor Jane Smith who took office after the September local government election this year. He also visited the local Japanese Garden.

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Girraween High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

Girraween High School Calligraphy Workshop 2

School visit programme

On 30 November, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 60 students studying Japanese language at Girraween High School.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:
TEL: 02-9250 1000

Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

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St George Girls High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

St George Girls High School Calligraphy Workshop 2

School visit programme

On 29 November, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 30 students studying Japanese language at St George Girls High School.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:
TEL: 02-9250 1000

Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

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Nagaoka 1

Nagaoka 2

Visit by the Delegation from Nagaoka City

On 23 November, a delegation from Nagaoka City, led by Mr Shinji Takami, Deputy Mayor and Ms Mai Nakamura, Goodwill Ambassador of Sports, visited Sydney. Nagaoka City will host many exchange programs including a pre-camp of the Australian National Swimming Team in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. They visited the Australian Olympic Committee and the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

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Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party

Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party

Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party

Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party

Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party


On 17 November, Consul-General Takewaka attended the Nichigo Press 40th Anniversary Party. Nichigo Press received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in recognition of their contribution to deepening the mutual understanding between Japan and Australia through their free Japanese newspaper and English-language periodicals introducing Japan and its culture.

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21st Japanese Film Festival

21st Japanese Film Festival

21st Japanese Film Festival

21st Japanese Film Festival

Opening Ceremony of the 21st Japanese Film Festival


On 16 November, the opening ceremony of the 21st Japanese Film Festival was held in Sydney. In his opening speech, the Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, wished the Festival success and expressed his expectation that every year people could make new discoveries at the Japanese Film Festival - discoveries that would in turn make them want to learn more about Japanese culture. At the ceremony, Councillor Robert Kok of the City of Sydney, Mr Yoshiyuki Kishi, a film director, Ms Mugi Kadowaki, an actress, and other distinguished guests also gave a few words. The ceremony was followed by the screening of the movie “Mumon: The Land of Stealth” and both attracted large audiences.

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2017 Roundtable 1

2017 Roundtable 2

2017 Roundtable 3

2017 Roundtable 4

2017 Roundtable 5

Australia-Japan Roundtable joined by the Hon Gladys Berejiklian as a guest speaker

On 6 November, the Australia-Japan Roundtable was held at the residence of Consul-General Keizo Takewaka. The Hon Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales, joined as a guest speaker and many Japanese companies participated. Consul-General Takewaka expressed in his opening address that Japan and Australia, including NSW, have shared a strong bilateral relationship in various areas such as economic, political and people-to-people exchange, and there remains immense potential from the ongoing and active engagement between us. The Premier also expressed the strong relationship between Japan and NSW in her speech.

October 2017

Haldon Street Festival 1

Haldon Street Festival 2

Haldon Street Festival

On 28 October, the City of Canterbury Bankstown held the Haldon Street Festival. As part of the Festival, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney presented the performance of a dance group, Sydney Soran Odoritai, to introduce Japanese culture.

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Ikebana Lunch

Luncheon with Ikebana International Sydney Chapter

On 27 October, Consul-General Takewaka invited members of Ikebana International Sydney Chapter to a luncheon at his residence.

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SCU 1
(The Hon. Thomas George MP, first from right)

SCU 2

Meeting with The Hon. Thomas George, MP

On 25 October, Consul Omae met with The Hon. Thomas George, MP at the Japan Centre at Southern Cross University and interacted with students and Japanese exchange students at the university.

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Granny Smith Festival 1

Granny Smith Festival 2

Granny Smith Festival

On 21 October, the City of Ryde held the Granny Smith Festival. As part of the Festival, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney presented the performance of a dance group, Sydney Soran Odoritai, to introduce Japanese culture.

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Toda 1
(Cr Waller (centre), Mr Jinbo (right))

Toda 2
(From left, Cr Waller, Consul-General Takewaka)

Mayor of Toda City in Saitama Prefecture visits Liverpool City

From 19 to 22 October, the Mayor of Toda City in Saitama Prefecture, Mr Kunio Jinbo, led a delegation to visit Toda City's sister-city, Liverpool City. On the evening of 20 October, a dinner party commemorating the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between the two cities was hosted by Cr Wendy Waller, Mayor of Liverpool City Council. Consul-General Keizo Takewaka also attended the dinner.

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Nichigo Press 1

Nichigo Press 2

Nichigo Press 3

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Ceremony and Reception for NICHIGO PRESS

On 17 October, at his residence, Consul-General Takewaka held the Foreign Minister's commendation ceremony and reception for NICHIGO PRESS in recognition of their contribution to deepening the mutual understanding between Japan and Australia through their free Japanese newspaper and English-language periodicals introducing Japan and its culture.

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IBA 1

IBA 2

The reception jointly hosted with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations on the occasion of the International Bar Association’s 2017 Annual Conference in Sydney

On 10 October, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka jointly hosted a reception with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) at the Consul-General’s residence on the occasion of the International Bar Association’s 2017 Annual Conference in Sydney.

Mr Martin Šolc, the President of the International Bar Association, the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President of NSW Court of Appeal, Justice Julie Ward Chief Judge in Equity, NSW Supreme Court, and Mr Mitsuhiro Wada Vice-President of the JFBA attended the reception.

Consul-General Takewaka noted the importance of the “Rule of Law”, the Japanese government’s support of women's rights, and touched upon North Korea’s human rights violations, including the abduction issue.

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Courtesy visit to the Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA, Northern Territory
Courtesy visit to the Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA, Northern Territory

Courtesy visit to the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Mr Kon Vatskalis
Courtesy visit to the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Mr Kon Vatskalis

Courtesy visit to the Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO and Mrs Hardy
Courtesy visit to the Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO and Mrs Hardy

Consul-General Takewaka’s Visit to the Northern Territory

The Consul-General, Mr Keizo Takewaka, visited Darwin from the 8th to 9th of October 2017. During his visit, he met with various people including the Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA, and the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Mr Kon Vatskalis. Consul-General Takewaka also paid a visit to the retiring Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO and Mrs Hardy.

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Burwood Festival 1

Burwood Festival 2

Burwood Festival

On 8 October, Burwood Council held the Burwood Festival. As part of the Festival, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney presented the performance of a drumming group, Wadaiko Rindo Sydney, to introduce Japanese culture.

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Coffs Harbour 1

Coffs Harbour 2
(From your left, Ms Margaret Beckett, Cr Denise Knight, Consul-General Takewaka, and Mrs Degens)

Consul-General Takewaka visits Coffs Harbour

On 6 October, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka visited Coffs Harbour, which established a sister city relationship with Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1988. Consul-General Takewaka met with the Mayor of Coffs Harbour, Cr Denise Knight, and was given a tour of the Japanese Gardens. The Consul-General also met with Ms Margaret Beckett, President of the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour and Mrs Patricia Degens, inaugural President of the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour.

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Orange 1

Consul-General Takewaka visits the City of Orange

On 3 October, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka visited Orange, which established a sister city relationship with Ushiku City in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan in 1990. The Mayor of the City of Orange, Reg Kidd, expressed great appreciation for friendship with Ushiku City such as the high school student exchange program.

September 2017

2 and 3 to GO! 1

2 and 3 to GO! 2

2 and 3 to GO! 11

2 and 3 to GO! 3

2 and 3 to GO! 4

2 and 3 to GO! 5

2 and 3 to GO! 6

2 and 3 to GO! 7

2 and 3 to GO! 8

2 and 3 to GO!

On 27 September, with two years to the Rugby World Cup and three years to the Olympic Games, a reception named “ 2 and 3 to GO!” was held at the Consul-General’s residence to encourage sports exchange between Japan and Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The reception was attended by many distinguished guests including Mr John Coates AC, the President of the Australian Olympic Committee and the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, representatives of the various Australian Olympic and Paralympic sports organisations, legendary rugby players who participated in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, including Wallabies Nick Farr-Jones, Peter Grigg, Michael Lynagh, Simon Poidevin and Ross Reynolds, Mr Toshiyuki Hayashi, who was the captain of the Japan National team at the tournament, and Mr Yoshihiro “Demi” Sakata, the first Japanese Inductee to the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

The grand reception was graced with a special message from the Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, HE Mr Shunichi Suzuki, which was read out by the Consul-General.

2 and 3 to GO! 10

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2017 Economic Outlook 1

2017 Economic Outlook 2

2017 Economic Outlook 3

2017 Economic Outlook 4

Australia, Japan & International Economic Outlook Seminar 2017

On 26 September, the Australia, Japan & International Economic Outlook Seminar 2017 was held by Australian & Japanese Economic Intelligence. In his opening address, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka explained that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Australia-Japan Commerce Agreement and that the Australia-Japan relationship is more important than ever for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

Approximately one hundred Japanese and Australian business and economic professionals participated in this seminar where the current economic conditions in Japan and Australia were outlined by three experts in the field, including Mr. Yoshiki Takeuchi, Director-General of the International Bureau in Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

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Olympic Minister 1

Olympic Minister 2

Olympic Minister 3

The Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Palalympic Games, Minister Suzuki, visits Sydney

On 22 September, the Minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Minister Shunichi Suzuki, visited Sydney.

During his visit, Minister Suzuki visited the headquarters of Australia Rugby Union. He discussed with CEO Mr Bill Pulver the best way for Japan to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Minister Suzuki also met with CEO of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Mr Charles Moore, and visited various sports facilities and the former athletes village. They both exchanged their opinions on how to effectively maintain the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic games after their completion.

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48th NSW Japanese Speech Contest 1

48th NSW Japanese Speech Contest 2

48th NSW Japanese Speech Contest

On 16 September, the “48th NSW Japanese Speech Contest” was held at the University of Sydney, which brought together about 100 contestants. Winners from each division will progress to the “48th Japanese Language Speech Contest Finals” on 7 October.

* High School Senior Division: Ms Vicky Feng
* Open Beginner Division: Ms Cassandra Kwok
* Open Division: Ms Holly Huynh
* Background Speaker Division: Ms Jung A. (Monica) Lee

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Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum 1

Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum 2

Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum 3

Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum 4

Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum

On 12 September, the Northern Territory Government hosted the Japan-Northern Territory Business Forum in Sydney, inviting Japanese companies. Northern Territory Chief Minister, The Hon Michael Gunner MLA, attended the event and expressed in his opening address that the territory and Japan have kept a good relationship, regardless of the chief minister’s change, and he expected that it would continue in future. Consul General Keizo Takewaka expressed in his address that he hopes that Japan and the government of the Northern Territory will work together for the sustainable development of the region through agricultural cooperation, business partnerships and infrastructure advancement.

At the event, where more than 40 Japanese businesses attended, trade and investment opportunities in the Northern Territory across the energy and minerals, agribusiness, infrastructure, international education and training, and tourism sectors were explained.

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Kanazawa Hakka Inbound Promotion Seminar 1

Kanazawa Hakka Inbound Promotion Seminar 2

Kanazawa Hakka Inbound Promotion Seminar

On 12 September, the Kanazawa Hakka Inbound Promotion Seminar was held in Sydney by “Kanazawa Hakka”, which consists of eight hotels in Kanazawa. Consul-General Keizo Takewaka expressed his expectation that tourism to Japan would increase referring to the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) and the launch of a direct flight between Sydney and Osaka.

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Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017 5

Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017 1

Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017 3

Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017 4

Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017 2

Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017

On 9 September, “Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017” was held in Chatswood. “Matsuri Japan Festival in Willoughby 2017” is a Japanese festival organized by the Japan Club of Sydney with support from Willoughby City Council, and this was the third time it was held. Many people came to the festival and enjoyed Japanese drumming performances, calligraphy, Japanese tea ceremony, and Ikebana among others.

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Gosford High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

Hunter Sports High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

Gosford High School Calligraphy Workshop 2

School visit programme

On 6 September, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 26 students studying Japanese language at Gosford High School and 16 students at Hunter Sports High School, and later, on 11 September, a calligraphy workshop for 38 students studying Japanese language at Gosford High Shool.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:

TEL: 02-9250 1000
Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

August 2017

St John's Park High School Calligraphy Workshop

St John's Park High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

St Columba's Catholic College Calligraphy Workshop

School visit programme

On 22 August, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a school visit programme, including calligraphy workshop and kimono demonstration, for 32 students studying Japanese language at St John's Park High School, and earlier, on 17 August, a calligraphy workshop for 7 students studying Japanese language at St Columba's Catholic College.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:

TEL: 02-9250 1000
Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

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St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School Calligraphy Workshop 1

St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School Calligraphy Workshop 2

St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School Calligraphy Workshop 3

Calligraphy workshop at St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School

On 10 August, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 49 students studying Japanese language at St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School, as part of the school visit programme.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:

TEL: 02-9250 1000
Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

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Hunter Sports High School Calligraphy Workshop 1

Hunter Sports High School Calligraphy Workshop 2

Hunter Sports High School Calligraphy Workshop 3

Calligraphy workshop at Hunter Sports High School

On 4 August, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 48 students studying Japanese language at Hunter Sports High School, as part of the school visit programme.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:

TEL: 02-9250 1000
Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

July 2017

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

2017 JET Farewell Reception

JET Programme Farewell Reception

On 11 July, the 2017 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme Farewell Reception was held at the Consul-General’s official residence. Consul-General Mr Keizo Takewaka delivered an opening address. In his address, he offered his congratulations to the JET Programme participants and expressed his expectation that the participants will enjoy their life in Japan and form bonds with Japanese people.

The participants will be assigned to schools and municipalities throughout Japan to assist with language education and with projects related to international activities, etc. The total number of new participants is 36 from New South Wales (2 of them have already departed for Japan).

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15th Anniversary of Books Kinokuniya Sydney 2

15th Anniversary of Books Kinokuniya Sydney 1

15th Anniversary of Books Kinokuniya Sydney

On 7 July, Books Kinokuniya celebrated its 15th Anniversary of the establishment of Books Kinokuniya Sydney. Consul-General Mr Keizo Takewaka delivered a congratulatory speech at the ceremony. In the speech, he expressed his expectation that Japan-Australia relations will further develop, referring to the fact that the branch has been contributing to Japan-Australia cultural exchange.

June 2017

Celebratory reception in honour of the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG 1

Celebratory reception in honour of the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG 2

Celebratory reception in honour of the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG 3

Celebratory reception in honour of the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in 2017 Spring Imperial Decorations

On 28 June, a celebratory reception in honour of the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star and former Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), was held at the Official Residence of the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney. Former Prime Minister of Australian the Hon. John Howard was among the attendees who included leading members of the legal community and other spheres.

In his remarks at the reception, the Hon. Michael Kirby expressed his gratitude to His Majesty the Emperor, the Government of Japan and the Japanese people for the honour. He also expressed his concern about the deterioration of the situation in North Korea, including the state of human rights. He further explained that abduction issue is a very serious problem for Japan, and he expressed his intent to continue to work actively to resolve human rights issues, including the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens.

The Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue, HE Mr Katsunobu Kato sent a congratulatory message to Mr Kirby, which was read out by the Consul-General. Guests took the opportunity to express their own congratulations to Mr Kirby, and the evening’s celebration passed very pleasantly.

References
Congratulatory message from Minister in charge of the Abduction Issue, HE Mr Katsunobu Kato
Opening Remarks by Consul-General Takewaka

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CCGS Calligraphy School Visit

CCGS Calligraphy School Visit

NSGHS Calligraphy School Visit

Calligraphy workshop at Central Coast Grammar School & North Sydney Girls High School

On 19 June, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney held a calligraphy workshop for 46 students studying Japanese language at Central Coast Grammar School, and earlier, on 15 June, for 34 students studying Japanese language at North Sydney Girls High School, as part of the school visit programme.

The Consulate-General of Japan offers the school visit programme, including calligraphy workshops, for schools in NSW and NT. Please contact the Information and Culture Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for more information:

TEL: 02-9250 1000
Email: cginfo@sy.mofa.go.jp

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75th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 1

75th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 2

75th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 3

75th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul

On 1 June, at the Kuttabul Naval Base, a memorial service was held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Sydney Harbour by Japanese midget submarines. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, was invited to the ceremony and laid a wreath. Consul-General Takewaka also laid a wreath in front of a midget submarine.

May 2017

JAPAN ADVENTURE TRAVEL MART 2017

JAPAN ADVENTURE TRAVEL MART 2017

JAPAN ADVENTURE TRAVEL MART 2017

On 23 May, JNTO hosted the JAPAN ADVENTURE TRAVEL MART 2017 in Sydney. Representatives from Japanese local governments and companies introduced the extensive charms of Japan. In his speech, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka expressed his expectation that tourism to Japan would increase throughout all seasons, beyond just the skiing season, referring to the Japan-Australia Tourism Seminar held while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Sydney in January this year.

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2017 Spring Imperial Decoration

The Hon. Mr Michael Kirby AC CMG, recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in 2017 Spring Imperial Decorations

The Hon. Mr Michael Kirby AC CMG was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, as announced in 2017 Spring Imperial Decorations on 29 April, in recognition of his achievement contributing to promoting understanding in the international community of the situation of Human Rights in North Korea including the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens. On 9 May, Mr Kirby attended the conferment ceremony conducted at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and there received the Imperial Decoration and the Patent of Decoration.

Major positions held by the Hon. Mr Michael Kirby AC CMG
Former Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, former Chancellor of Macquarie University.

Mr Kirby’s achievements
Annex

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75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Ceremony
©Australian National Maritime Museum

75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Ceremony
©Australian National Maritime Museum

75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Ceremony

On 6 May, a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea was held at Darling Harbour, Sydney by the Australian National Maritime Museum and Naval Officers Club. Senior members of the Royal Australian Navy, representatives from the US, and Mr Keizo Takewaka, Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, were invited to participate and laid flower wreathes.

April 2017

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 1

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 2
Ms Jisun Shin
(Macquarie University)

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 3
Ms Rena Run Yuan Ma
(University of New South Wales)

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 4
Ms Yu-Hsin Kao
(University of Sydney)

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 5
Ms Anita Jiaqin Gallagher
(University of Technology Sydney)

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 6
Ms Claudia Blanche
(University of Wollongong)

2017 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 7
Ms Sandy Tran
(Western Sydney University)

AJS-NSW 2017 University Awards Night

On 27 April, Mr Philip Mitchell, the president of the Australia-Japan Society of New South Wales (AJS-NSW) held the 2017 University Awards Night. Consul-General Keizo Takewaka awarded the certificates to the students with outstanding performances in the field of Japanese Studies, from the six universities in the greater Sydney region.

Ms Jisun Shin (Macquarie University)
Ms Rena Run Yuan Ma (University of New South Wales)
Ms Yu-Hsin Kao (University of Sydney)
Ms Anita Jiaqin Gallagher (University of Technology Sydney)
Ms Claudia Blanche (University of Wollongong)
Ms Sandy Tran (Western Sydney University)

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Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 1

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 2

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 3

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 4

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 5

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia 6

Union of Kansai Governments’ Top Promotion Visit to Australia

On 19 April, a delegation from the Union of Kansai Governments to promote tourism to Kansai, headed by Mr Keiji Yamada, Governor of Kyoto Prefecture, visited Sydney. They invited travel agencies in Australia to a reception to highlight Kansai’s attractions, as well as had meetings with people regarding tourism.

Consul-General Keizo Takewaka delivered a speech at the reception. He expressed his expectations of the increased importance of regional tourism to Japan, referring to the Japan-Australia Tourism Seminar held while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Sydney in January.

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Newcastle Visit

Consul-General’s Visit to the City of Newcastle

On 3 April, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka paid a visit to the City of Newcastle, which has a sister city relationship with Ube City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes, expressed great appreciation for exchanges with Ube City such as Ube Senior High School’s visits to Newcastle.

March 2017

Robert Seidler AM 1

Robert Seidler AM 2

Robert Seidler AM 3

The 2016 (Heisei 28) Autumn Imperial Decoration Conferment Ceremony for Mr Robert Seidler AM (Vice President of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee)

On 30 March, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka held the 2016 (Heisei 28) Autumn Imperial Decoration Conferment Ceremony for Mr Robert Seidler AM. Mr Robert Seidler AM was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition of his contribution to deepening and expanding economic relations between Japan and Australia.

As Vice President of the AJBCC and the Chair of the Australia-Japan Infrastructure Sub-Committee established within the AJBCC, he received and instigated various missions. As a business and legal consultant, he has also supported the expansion and investment endeavours of Japanese corporations in the Australian market since 1972 (Showa 47). In December last year, he was appointed as a special envoy to Japan by the NSW State Government.

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Asakura-sensei 1

Asakura-sensei 2

Asakura-sensei 3

Asakura-sensei 4

Asakura-sensei 5

Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony

On 22 March, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka awarded the Consul-General's commendation to Ms Haruko Asakura, a visiting professor at Hijiyama University. Ms Asakura has contributed to the promotion of Japanese language studies as a Japanese lecturer at the Australian Catholic University for about 20 years and participated in promoting Japan-Australia exchange.

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2017 Shirase 0

2017 Shirase 1

2017 Shirase 2

2017 Shirase 3

2017 Shirase 4

2017 Shirase 5

2017 Shirase 6

Port of call of the Japanese Antarctic research icebreaker ‘Shirase’ in Sydney

The Japanese icebreaker ‘Shirase’ (Captain Hisanobu Ohga), carrying the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), arrived in Sydney on March 21 on its way from Showa Station in Antarctica back to Japan. At a reception held onboard on the evening of March 21, Captain Hisanobu Ohga, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka, The Hon. Raymond Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and The Hon. John Ajaka, President of the Legislative Council of NSW gave their speeches.

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Consul-General Takewaka visits Lismore 1

Consul-General Takewaka visits Lismore 2

Consul-General Takewaka visits Lismore 3

Consul-General Takewaka visits Lismore 4

Consul-General Takewaka visits Lismore

On 9 March, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka visited Lismore, the sister city of Yamato Takada in Nara Prefecture. The sister city relationship was established in 1963 and marked the first such relationship between Japan and Australia.

During his stay Consul-General Takewaka met Lismore City Mayor, Cr Isaac Smith, and visited the Japan-Australia Centre at Southern Cross University and he interacted with Japanese exchange students.

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2017 Clean Up Australia Day 1

2017 Clean Up Australia Day 2

Participation of Japanese Community in Clean Up Australia Day

On March 5, the Japanese Society of Sydney and Japan Club of Sydney organized an event for Japanese expatriates to participate in the Clean Up Australia Day activities in Lane Cove National Park. The event showed the goodwill and solidarity of the Japanese community on the 27th anniversary of Clean Up Australia Day. Thankfully, Ian Kiernan AO, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Clean Up Australia Limited also joined us on the day.

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2017 Swimming NSW State Open Championships 1

2017 Swimming NSW State Open Championships 2

2017 Swimming NSW State Open Championships 3

2017 Swimming NSW State Open Championships

Between 3 and 5 March, the 2017 NSW State Open Championship was held at the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre and 13 members of the Japanese national team took part in the championships. Australian Olympic Medalists also participated in the championships and Japan sends a national team each year. On 4 March, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka visited the championships to support the team as well as to award medals. During the championships, Japanese swimmers won the men’s 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medleys, 4x50m and 4x100m club medley relays and mixed 4x50m medley relay. The next championships will be held in January 2018.

February 2017

Consul-General Takewaka visits Dubbo 1

Consul-General Takewaka visits Dubbo 2

Consul-General Takewaka visits Dubbo

On February 24, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka paid his visit to Dubbo which established a sister city relationship with Minokamo city in Gifu prefecture in Japan in 1989. Mr Takewaka met with the Administrator of Dubbo Regional Council, Mr Michael Kneipp, and visited the Japanese Garden, Shoyoen, which was built in 2002.

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State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi 1

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi 2

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi pays a courtesy call on the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales

On Monday 20 February, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales.

1. State Minister Kishi congratulated Premier Berejiklian on her recent appointment before touching on a range of issues such as the increased presence of Japanese companies in various fields in NSW, the large Japanese community in the state and the strong trade relationship with NSW, as well as growing two-way tourism, expressing his hope for even closer ties in the future.

2. In response, Premier Berejiklian welcomed State Minister Kishi’s visit to Sydney and NSW. The Premier stated that in addition to existing trade, she welcomed the recent investment activity by Japanese companies. She expressed her hope that a further increase in cultural and social exchanges, including sister-city ties and Japanese language education, would lead to the promotion of future ties between NSW and Japan.

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Consul-General Takewaka visits Darwin 1

Consul-General Takewaka visits Darwin 2

Consul-General Takewaka visits Darwin 3

Consul-General Takewaka visits Darwin 4

Consul-General Takewaka visits Darwin

On 17 February, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka visited Darwin, as part of the Ambassador to Australia, Sumio Kusaka’s official trip to the Northern Territory of Australia, where he attended talks with Chief Minister Gunner and paid a courtesy call on Police Commissioner Kershaw.

In the evening, Consul-General Takewaka attended the Plaque Unveiling commemoration for the Japanese I-124 Submarine carried out by the Australian Japanese Association of the Northern Territory.

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Akita Prefecture Fair 1

Akita Prefecture Fair 2

Akita Prefecture Fair 3

Akita Prefecture Fair 4

Akita Fair -Culture and Tourism-

On 3 February, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka attended the Akita Prefecture Fair in Sydney.

The fair provided tourist resources outlining Akita Prefecture’s ski resorts, hot springs and scenic locations, and introduced specialty items and local Sake brewed in the region.

January 2017

Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)

Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)

Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)

Signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Northern Territory Government

On 13 January, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Agriculture between the Japanese government (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) and the Northern Territory Government (Ministry of Primary Industry and Resources) at the Austrade offices in Sydney.

This MoC aims to promote agricultural cooperation and the development of The Food Value Chain Project in northern Australia, and is expected to expand the export of agricultural products produced in Australia to the growing ASEAN market.

December 2016

Matsuri 2016 1

Matsuri 2016 2

Matsuri 2016 3

Matsuri 2016 4

Matsuri 2016 5

Matsuri 2016 6

Matsuri 2016 7

Matsuri 2016 8

Matsuri 2016 9

"Matsuri - Japan Festival"

On 10 December, around 30 thousand people gathered at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour for the annual "Matsuri - Japan Festival". The festival aimed to introduce Japanese culture through live presentations of Taiko drums, Bonodori, Kendo demonstrations and Samurai performances. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, origami and flower arrangement workshops were also offered as well as a range of Japanese food, travel advice and tourism information. The Consulate-General of Japan also had a booth introducing Japanese culture and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

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2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 1

2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 2

2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 3

2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 4

2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 5

2016 Essay Contest Award Ceremony 6

The 2016 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students Awards Ceremony

On 8 December, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka held the award ceremony for the 2016 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students. Around 70 people attended the award ceremony which included the prize-winning students, their family, school officials, sponsors and Japanese language teachers. Consul-General Takewaka presented awards, plaques and prizes to the 26 student winners and the School of the Year.

The awards were followed by speeches from the Junior Division First Prize Winner, Ms Maggie Liu (North Sydney Girls High School), the father of Mr Brandon Ji-Seup Yoon (Barker College), the Senior Division First Prize Winner, and the School of the Year, St Columba’s Catholic College.

We would like to congratulate the prize winners and all the students who took part in this year’s competition, as well as thank the official sponsors for their generous support.

Please click here for the official results of the 2016 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students.

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His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 1

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 2

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 3

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 4

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 5

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 6

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 7

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 8

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception 2016 9

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception

On 6 December, at his residence, Consul-General Keizo Takewaka hosted a reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday and some 230 guests from various fields attended. The national anthems of both countries were performed by a leading seaman and an able seaman from the Royal Australian Navy. Subsequently, Consul-General Takewaka and the Hon. Catherine Cusack, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, delivered their speeches. Then, the Hon. Tom Bathurst, Chief-Justice of NSW and Mr Takewaka gave the toast.

In his speech, Consul-General Takewaka said that Japan and Australia’s special relationship went beyond the political and economic arenas and this year, as the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia, diverse people received consul-general’s and foreign minister’s commendations and three people were awarded Imperial Decorations by His Majesty the Empeor.

At the reception, sushi and sake were offered and a booth introducing Japanese high speed trains was set up. Drumming group Wadaiko Rindo Sydney also demonstrated in a live performance.

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Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016 SYDNEY 1
©Hitachi Australia

Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016 SYDNEY 2
©Hitachi Australia

Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016 SYDNEY 3
©Hitachi Australia

Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016 SYDNEY

On 1 December, Hitachi, Ltd. hosted an event titled ‘Social Innovation Forum 2016 SYDNEY’ in Sydney. In its opening session, President and CEO Mr Toshiaki Higashihara explained that Hitachi is able to contribute to solving various challenges facing Australia using the latest technologies and expressed his intention to expand its business in Australia.

NSW Premier the Hon. Mike Baird thanked Hitachi’s ongoing business in NSW and expressed his hope to cooperate with the private sector for solving social issues. He also announced that he had assigned Mr Bob Seidler, Vice-President of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee, as a special envoy of NSW.

The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, said that innovation has become an important issue at bilateral summits, referring to the deepening Japan-Australia relations.

November 2016

Consul-General’s Visit to Cowra 2016 1

Consul-General’s Visit to Cowra 2016 2

Consul-General’s Visit to Cowra 2016 3

Consul-General’s Visit to Cowra 2016 4

Consul-General’s Visit to Cowra

From 28 to 29 Nov, The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, paid his first official visit to Cowra. He met and exchanged opinions with Mayor, Cr Bill West and the councillors of Cowra Shire Council. He also visited the Prisoner of War Camp Site, planted a tree at Cherry Tree Avenue, laid flower wreathes at the cemeteries and had a meeting with persons involved in managing the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre.

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Consul-General’s Visit to Bathurst 2016 1

Consul-General’s Visit to Bathurst Regional Council

On 28 Nov, The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, paid his first official visit to Bathurst Regional Council. He met and exchanged opinions with Mayor, Cr Gary Rush. Ms. Fudeko Reekie, who worked as a Japanese language teacher for 35 years in Bathurst and was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays in 2013, also attended the meeting. Bathurst Regional Council and Okuma Town in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan have had a sister city relationship since 1991.

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Consul-General’s Visit to Northern Territory 2016 1
Courtesy visit to His Honour the Hon. John Hardy OAM

Consul-General’s Visit to Northern Territory 2016 2
Courtesy visit to Chief Minister Michael Gunner

Consul-General’s Visit to Northern Territory 2016 3
Courtesy visit to the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim

Consul-General’s Visit to Northern Territory

The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, paid his first official visit to the Northern Territory from the 24th to 26th of November 2016. He met and exchanged opinions with His Honour the Hon. John Hardy OAM, Administrator of the Northern Territory, Chief Minister Michael Gunner, the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim and people who are involved with Australia-Japan exchange among many others. Through this visit, Consul-General Takewaka renewed his recognition of the depth of historical and economic ties between the Northern Territory and Japan and will continue to further promote and consolidate the relationship.

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JFF 2016 1

JFF 2016 2
© Victor Caringal

JFF 2016 3

Opening Ceremony of the 20th Japanese Film Festival

On 17 Nov, the opening ceremony of the 20th Japanese Film Festival was held. In his opening speech, the Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, introduced Japan and Australia’s special relationship, which goes beyond the political and economic arenas, and said the audience would enjoy various aspects of Japanese culture including life style, food and pop culture through the films screened at the festival. At the ceremony, Ms. Yukiko Mishima, who is a film director, also gave a few words and the traditional Japanese drumming group Wadaiko-Rindo Sydney, demonstrated in a live performance.

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Japanese Budo Delegation 2016 to Sydney 2

Japanese Budo Delegation 2016 to Sydney 3

Japanese Budo Delegation 2016 to Sydney 4

Japanese Budo Delegation 2016 to Sydney 1

Japanese Budo Delegation 2016 to Sydney

Between 10th and 15th of November, the Japanese Budo Delegation headed by Mr Hideo Usui, the Chief Director of Nippon Budokan Foundation, visited Sydney to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the basic treaty of friendship and cooperation between Japan and Australia. On 11th November, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Keizo Takewaka, hosted the welcome reception for the delegation at his official residence. The Hon. John Ajaka, NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ageing and Multiculturalism, Mr Jonathan O'dea, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, Major Events and Tourism, the Hon. Lynda Voltz, Shadow Minister for Sport and Veterans Affairs, Ms Anne Gripper, the executive director of Office of Sport, as well as representatives of budo associations in Australia, attended the reception and welcomed the delegation grandly.

The delegation introduced the spirits and essence of Japanese budo through such events as a mini demonstration at the Sydney Japanese International School, a budo seminar at the University of New South Wales and a budo demonstration at Sydney Olympic Park, as the main event of the visit. The visit ended in success as shown by the audience of over 2,000 gathered for the budo demonstration.

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Seibu Singapore Sydney Branch – Opening Reception 1

Seibu Singapore Sydney Branch – Opening Reception 2

Seibu Singapore Sydney Branch – Opening Reception 3

Seibu Singapore Sydney Branch – Opening Reception

On 10 November, an opening reception for "Seibu Singapore Sydney Branch" was held in Sydney. The president of Prince Hotels, Mr Shigeyoshi Akasaka, introduced their hotels and explained their approach to attract foreign visitors. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, celebrated the occasion by introducing the successful relationship between Japan and Australia and expressing his appreciation to all parties for contributing to an increase of visitors to Japan, as well as his expectation of further contribution.

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Taronga Centenary Celebration Dinner 1

Taronga Centenary Celebration Dinner 2

Taronga Centenary Celebration Dinner

On 2 November in Sydney, the City of Nagoya hosted a Taronga Zoo Centenary Celebration which was attended by the Deputy Mayor of the City of Nagoya, Mr Shinkai, and a delegation of Nagoya City Assembly Members headed by the Chairperson, Mr Kato. Higashiyama Zoo in the City of Nagoya and Taronga Zoo have a sister-zoo relationship.

At the celebration, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Keizo Takewaka, awarded the Consul-General's Commendation to Dr David Butcher who led the transport of Japan’s first koala in 1984 and who has contributed to the promotion of the sister city relationship between Nagoya and Sydney as the chair of Sydney Nagoya Sister City Committee since 2013.

October 2016

JET 30th Anniversary and Welcome Back Reception 1

JET 30th Anniversary and Welcome Back Reception 2

JET 30th Anniversary and Welcome Back Reception 3

JET 30th Anniversary and Welcome Back Reception 4

Welcome Back Reception and Networking Event on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the JET Programme

On 20 October, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, NSW JETAA and CLAIR cohosted a reception to welcome JET participants coming back this year, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the programme. The Acting Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Katsutoshi Miyakawa expressed his appreciation to participants’ hard work and dedication in Japan and expectation for them to continue to promote mutual understanding in his opening speech. The event was joined by participants from many areas, including academics, Japan related organizations and private companies, as well as JET participants, and they celebrated the 30th anniversary grandly.

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Ryde Granny Smith Festival 1

Ryde Granny Smith Festival 2

Ryde Granny Smith Festival 3

Ryde Granny Smith Festival 4

Ryde Granny Smith Festival

On 15 October, Ryde Council held its annual Ryde Granny Smith Festival. As part of the Festival, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney presented “Music from Japan” featuring performances by local Japanese acts: drumming group Wadaiko Rindo Sydney and the Satsuki Odamura Koto Ensemble. Clr Jane Stott, the Deputy Mayor of Ryde came to the stage and enjoyed the performance.

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2016 Inoue Yashushi Award 1
Photo: Nichigo Press

2016 Inoue Yashushi Award 2

10th Inoue Yasushi Award Ceremony

On 7 October, at the University of Sydney, the 10th Inoue Yasushi Award ceremony was held to celebrate outstanding achievement in Japanese Literature Studies by researchers based in Australia and New Zealand. The 10th Award was bestowed upon Ms Tamaki Tokita who is a lecturer at the University of Sydney. The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Masato Takaoka also awarded the Consul-General's Commendation to Mr Masanori Ohtani who established the Inoue Yasushi award and has continued to organize it for 10 years to promote the study of Japanese literature in Australia and New Zealand.

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2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 1

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 2

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 3

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 4

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 5

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 6

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 7

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 8

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 9

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 10

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Ceremony and Reception

On 6 October, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Masato Takaoka held a Foreign Minister's commendation ceremony and reception on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia (NARA Treaty) at his official residence.

At the ceremony, Mr Ian Cleworth (Wadaiko Player, Co-Founder of Taikoz), Mr David Jacobs (CEO, Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee – AJBCC), Prof Chihiro Kinoshita Thomson (Professor, University of New South Wales), Dr Riley Lee (Shakuhachi Player, Co-Founder of Taikoz), Mr Philip Mitchell (President, Australia Japan Society of NSW), Mr Mitsuo Shoji (Ceramist), Mr Ian Williams (Vice President, Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee (AJBCC)) and Chado Urasenke Tankoukai Sydney Association were awarded.

The Foreign Minister’s Commendation is awarded to those who contributed to strengthening the friendship between Japan and Australia and deepening the bilateral relationship.

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JFC 2016 1

JFC 2016 2

JFC 2016 3

JFC Australia 30th anniversary celebration

On 2 October at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Japanese food product supplier JFC Australia celebrated its 30th anniversary at a reception hosted by JFC Australia Managing Director, Mr Kenichi Saito. Thirty years ago, Japanese cuisine was still little known, but today it is a well-loved part of Australian food culture. Consul-General Masato Takaoka expressed his appreciation for JFC Australia's achievements over three decades of business.

September 2016

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2016 1

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2016 2

Sakura Matsuri

On 24 September, the annual Cowra Sakura Matsuri was held at the Cowra Japanese Garden. On 25 September, a Service of Respect was held at the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries. The service was attended by the Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Katsutoshi Miyakawa and Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West, who together laid a wreath in memory of the fallen.

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Matsuri in Willoughby 2016 1

Matsuri in Willoughby 2016 2

Matsuri in Willoughby 2016 3

Matsuri in Willoughby 2016 4

Matsuri in Willoughby 2016 5

Matsuri in Willoughby 2016

On 17 September, “Matsuri in Willoughby 2016” was held in Chatswood. “Matsuri in Willoughby” is a Japanese festival organized by the Japan Club of Sydney with support from Willoughby City Council, and this was the second time it was held. In his opening speech, the Consul-General Mr Takaoka expressed his appreciation to the Japan Club of Sydney for providing such a wonderful opportunity to share Japanese culture. The mayor of Willoughby Council, Ms. Gail Giles-Gidney expressed that “Matsuri in Willoughby” is a symbol of multicultural community in Willoughby. Many people came to the festival and enjoyed Japanese drumming performances, calligraphy and a Japanese tea space.

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2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation
©Nichigo Press

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 2

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 3

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 4
©Nichigo Press

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 5

2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation 6

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Ceremony and Reception

On 14 September, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Masato Takaoka held a Foreign Minister's commendation ceremony and reception on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia (NARA Treaty) at his official residence. At the ceremony, Ms Aiko Goto (Violinist, Australian Chamber Orchestra), Mr Akira Isogawa (Fashion Designer) and Ms Satsuki Odamura (Koto Player, Representative of the Australia Koto Music Institute) were awarded. “SMASH !”, the pop culture event (President: Mr Andrew Qiu), who had received the commendation on 21 August also attended the reception. Mr Ken Done, who had received a Foreign Minister's commendation 10 years ago on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the NARA Treaty, proposed a toast. The Foreign Minister’s Commendation is awarded to those who contributed to strengthening the friendship between Japan and Australia and deepening the bilateral relationship.

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Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony for Ms. Tomoko Koyama 1

Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony for Ms. Tomoko Koyama 2

Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony for Ms. Tomoko Koyama 3

Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony for Ms. Tomoko Koyama

On 10 September, the “NSW Japanese Speech Contest” was held at Macquarie University, which brought together about 100 contestants. Consul-General Masato Takaoka commended those candidates on their performances and expressed his appreciation for the enthusiastic Japanese language teachers who encouraged their students to study Japanese. He also awarded the Consul-General's Commendation to Ms Tomoko Koyama. In her capacity as Director of Macquarie Japanese Studies Centre, a position she has held since 2006, she has been dedicated to enabling the Centre to meet its stated purpose of supporting and improving the teaching of Japanese in the community and advancing Japanese language and culture. This was the seventh time that the contest was held at the Centre since 2010, and Ms Koyama has been a hard-working committee organizer overseeing all aspects of the contest.

[photographs courtesy of MJS Centre, Macquarie University]

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2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon 2

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon 3

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon 4

The 2016 (Heisei 28) Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon for Dr. Sakuko Matsui (Honorary Associate Professor, University of Sydney)

On 1 September, the 2016 (Heisei 28) Spring Imperial Decoration Luncheon for Dr. Sakuko Matsui (Honorary Associate Professor, University of Sydney) was held at the Consul-General’s official residence. Dr. Sakuko Matsui arrived in Sydney in 1961, and until her retirement from the University of Sydney in 2001, she worked continuously over four decades as a teacher of Japanese language and literature. From the early days of Japanese studies in Australia, she made an enormous contribution to the spread of Japanese language and Japanese culture. Dr. Sakuko Matsui has taught many people including Prof. Hugh Clark (Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney) who is also an awardee of the 2016 (Heisei 28) Spring Imperial Decoration, Prof. Leith Morton (Emeritus Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology), and Mr Bruce Miller (Ambassador, Australian Embassy Tokyo).

August 2016

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Ceremony 1

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Ceremony 2

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Ceremony 3

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Ceremony 4

2016 Spring Imperial Decoration Ceremony 5

The 2016 (Heisei 28) Spring Imperial Decoration Conferment Ceremony for Prof. Hugh Clarke (Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney)

On 25 August, the 2016 (Heisei 28) Spring Imperial Decorations Conferment Ceremony for Prof. Hugh Clarke (Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney) was held at the Consul-General’s official residence. Prof. Hugh Clark was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of Japanese studies and to the promotion of Japanese language education, as well as mutual understanding, in Australia. In his area of specialisation, research into Japanese linguistics and Okinawan studies, Prof. Hugh Clarke made significant and pioneering contributions for more than 45 years. In the international arena, he created many opportunities to explore the unique nature of Japanese linguistics and the culture and history attached to it, and he transmitted the profound depth of Japanese linguistics and traditional culture.

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2016 SMASH 1

2016 SMASH 2

2016 SMASH 3

2016 SMASH 4

2016 SMASH 5

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation - Awarding Ceremony for SMASH

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Japan and Australia which was signed in 1976, Consul-General Masato Takaoka awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation, on 21 August, to the pop culture event “SMASH!”(President, Andrew Qiu). Established in 2007, the event marked its 10th anniversary this year and is the biggest pop culture gathering in the Pacific Region. SMASH has encouraged broad interest in Japan among young Australians, and has provided motivation to learn the Japanese language.

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2016 Ikebana International Sydney Chapter Annual Luncheon 1

2016 Ikebana International Sydney Chapter Annual Luncheon 2

2016 Ikebana International Sydney Chapter Annual Luncheon 3

2016 Ikebana International Sydney Chapter Annual Luncheon 4

2016 Ikebana International Sydney Chapter Annual Luncheon 5

The Annual Luncheon of the Ikebana International Sydney Chapter

On 19 August, Consul-General Masato Takaoka, who is a patron of the Ikebana International Sydney Chapter, attended their annual luncheon and gave the opening speech. In his opening speech, the Consul-General mentioned that Ikebana, a proud Japanese cultural tradition, has played a key role in Japan-Australia relations. At the luncheon, a beautiful Ikebana demonstration by four schools, Ikenobo, Sougetsu, Koryu, and Ohara was held.

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2016 NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 1

2016 NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 2

2016 NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 3

NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 2016

On 19 August, the NSW Department of Education hosted the “NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 2016”. Over 200 Japanese teachers from various places around NSW participated in the conference and sessions which were held under the theme “Aspire to Inspire”. In his opening address, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, expressed his appreciation for the enthusiastic Japanese language teachers who are vital to Australian students choosing to study Japanese, and acknowledged how those Japanese teachers have played an important role in Japan-Australia relations.

July 2016

2016 JET Programme Farewell Reception 1

2016 JET Programme Farewell Reception 2

2016 JET Programme Farewell Reception 3

JET Programme Farewell Reception

On 19 July, the 2016 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme Farewell Reception was held at the Consul-General’s official residence. The number of new participants is 44 for New South Wales. The participants will be assigned to schools and municipalities throughout Japan to assist with language education and with projects related to international activities etc. Also, as this year marks the signing of the 40th anniversary of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia and the 30th Anniversary of the JET Programme, Consul-General Mr Masato Takaoka awarded the Consul-General’s commendations to two individuals and a group (see below) who have provided distinguished service in contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia, including support to the JET programme and promotion of Japanese language education in Australia.

(Individual)
Dr Emi Otsuji (Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney)
Dr Rowena Ward (Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong)

(Group)
NSW JET Alumni Association

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2016 Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony and Reception 1

2016 Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony and Reception 2

2016 Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony and Reception 3

Consul-General's Commendation Awarding Ceremony and Reception

On 15 July, the Consul-General's commendation ceremony and reception were held at his residence on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Japan and Australia. The commendation was to honour the significant contribution of the awardees to the Japan-Australia friendship. Five individuals and three groups (see below) were awarded. Consul-General Mr Masato Takaoka valued awardees' efforts which helped to strengthen the Japan-Australia relationship as well as promote multiculturalism in Sydney and NSW, and expressed his appreciation for their contribution. At the reception, awardees and their guests enjoyed a friendly atmosphere and one of the awardees, the traditional Japanese drumming group Wadaiko-Rindo Sydney, demonstrated in a live performance.

(Individual)
Ms Kuniko Nakano (Ikebana artist)
Ms Midori Furze (Origami artist)
Mr Yoshihide Hosaka (Founder of the Japan Club of Sydney)
Mr Gerard McDonald (President of the Koi Society Australia)
Mr Ren Yano (Calligrapher)

(Group)
JCS Rainbow Project (group assisting children affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake)
Matsuri in Sydney Inc (group hosting Japanese festival in Sydney)
Wadaiko Rindo Sydney Branch (Wadaiko drum group)

June 2016

Japan-Northern Territory Business Networking Lunch 1

Japan-Northern Territory Business Networking Lunch 2

Japan-Northern Territory Business Networking Lunch

On 29 June, the Northern Territory Government hosted a business networking lunch inviting Japanese companies based in Sydney. At the event, where around 40 Japanese business people attended, Northern Territory Treasurer David Tollner and other government officials explained the potential of Northern Territory as a trading partner as well as an investment destination in a wide range of areas such as mining, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism. In his opening address, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, expressed his hope that the Northern Territory Government, together with the Federal Government, will continue to improve the investment environment amid the increasing attention towards the development of Northern Australia, including the Northern Territory.

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2016 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 1

2016 AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 2

AJS-NSW 2016 University Awards Night

On 8 June, the Australia Japan Society of New South Wales (AJS-NSW) held their annual University Awards Night. The awards recognise students with outstanding performances in the field of Japanese Studies, from the six major universities around Sydney. Consul-General Masato Takaoka gave a keynote presentation about the ongoing Japan-Australia relationship, the G7 summit held in Japan and President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

Please click here if you are interested in learning more about AJS-NSW.


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74th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 1

74th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 2

74th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul 3

74th Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul

On 1 June, at the Kuttabul Naval Base, a memorial service was held to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the attack on Sydney Harbour by Japanese midget submarines. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Masato Takaoka, was invited to the ceremony and laid a wreath. At the ceremony, the names of the fallen sailors on the HMAS Kuttabul sunk in the attack were read by students from a local high school, and the names of the six Japanese submariners who lost their lives were also read by students from the Japanese school in Sydney. An address was made by Captain Paul Martin, OAM, RAN (Rtd.) to remember the sacrifice and bravery of all those who lost their lives.


May 2016

Memorial Service for the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Sydney Harbour

Memorial Service for the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Sydney Harbour 1

Memorial Service for the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Sydney Harbour 2

Memorial Service for the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Sydney Harbour 3

Memorial Service for the 74th Anniversary of the Attack on Sydney Harbour

On 27 May, a memorial service hosted by The Hon. Tony Abbott MP was held at the Defence of Sydney Monument in the suburb of North Head (Sydney) to commemorate all those who were involved in the defence of Sydney Harbour during World War 2. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), the Governor of New South Wales, attended the ceremony as the guest speaker. Also in attendance was the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, the first representative of Japan to be invited to the service. The Consul-General laid a wreath at the ceremony.


April 2016

2016 Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition 1

2016 Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition 2

2016 Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition 3

Sogetsu School Ikebana Exhibition

On 9 April, an exhibition by the Sogetsu school of ikebana was opened in the Royal Botanic Garden. It is the seventeenth time the exhibition has been held in the gardens and it runs until 17 April as one of the events celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.


March 2016

Shirase 2016 1

Shirase 2016 2

Shirase 2016 3

Shirase 2016 4

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Shirase 2016 6

Shirase 2016 7

Port of call of the Japanese Antarctic research icebreaker ‘Shirase’ in Sydney

The Japanese icebreaker ‘Shirase’ (Captain Hisanobu Ohga), carrying the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), arrived in Sydney on March 24 for the first time in two years on its way from Showa Station in Antarctica back to Japan. At a reception held onboard on the evening of March 24, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Masato Takaoka, in his speech, touched upon the Shirase’s shared history with Australia. In 1911, Lieutenant Nobu Shirase, who aimed to reach Antarctica, received support from Sydney locals. “Shirase”, whose name is derived from Lieutenant Shirase, remains a symbol of friendship between Japan and Australia. Today, active exchanges exist amongst various fields between both nations.

During its mission this year, the Shirase rescued 66 stranded expeditioners from Mawson Base after the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis ran aground. At the reception, Dr Nick Gales, director of the Australian Antarctic Division which conducts research in Antarctica, expressed gratitude towards Japan for its assistance.

On March 25, Sydney Morning Herald published the story of the Shirase’s visit to Sydney: “A century later, Shirase returns to Sydney a hero after rescuing 66 Australians”


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Art of Sake 2016 1

Art of Sake 2016 2

Art of Sake 2016 3

Art of Sake 2016 4

Art of Sake 2016 5

Art of Sake 2016 6

Art of Sake 2016 7

The Art of Sake 2016

On 21 March, "The Art of Sake 2016" was held at the Consul General's residence. Culinary expert, Mr Hideo Dekura, presented a lecture which was followed by a tasting of various sake brands that afforded guests an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the world of sake.


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2016 Dinner in Honour of the Japanese Business Community 1
©Nichigo Press

2016 Dinner in Honour of the Japanese Business Community 2
©Nichigo Press

2016 Dinner in Honour of the Japanese Business Community 3
©Nichigo Press

2016 Dinner in Honour of the Japanese Business Community 4
©Nichigo Press

Dinner in Honour of the Japanese Business Community

On 15 March, NSW Premier The Hon Mike Baird hosted a dinner for business people engaged in Japan-Australia business including members of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sydney Inc. At the dinner, Premier Baird emphasized Japan has always been a close partner to NSW and expressed his intention to further promote trade and investment through more active participation of Japanese companies. The dinner was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and attended also by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events The Hon Stuart Ayres who acted as the MC for the evening, Treasurer The Hon Gladys Berejiklian, and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure The Hon Andrew Constance. The Consul-General Mr Masato Takaoka and JCCI, Sydney Inc. President Mr Masaru Utaki both expressed their appreciation to the Premier's firm commitment to Japan, and stressed that they would continuously promote strengthening the economic ties between Japan and NSW.


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Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 1

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 2

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 3

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 4

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 5

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 6

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 7

Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony 8

The Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony

On 11 March, the Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony organised by JCS Rainbow Project Organisation was held at St Matthews Church in Manly. Many Japanese and Australian government, business and community representatives participated in the event. The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, delivered the opening address, followed by a moment of silence to commemorate the exact time of the earthquake. A video message from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was screened, followed by a speech from Superintendent Kim Reeson, representing the Fire and Rescue NSW personnel who assisted with relief efforts immediately after the earthquake. Students from Tohoku University and Fukushima University made presentations, and renowned violinist Ayako Ishikawa and local Japanese cultural artists also performed.


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2016 Clean Up Australia Day

Participation of Japanese Community in Clean Up Australia Day

On March 6, the Japanese Society of Sydney and Japan Club of Sydney organized an event for Japanese expatriates to participate in the Clean Up Australia Day activities in Lane Cove National Park. The event showed the goodwill and solidarity of the Japanese community with 152 people participating in the 26th anniversary of Clean Up Australia Day. Under beautiful weather, participants collected bags of rubbish during the two hour clean-up. Many people participated with their families and enjoyed a barbecue lunch after the clean-up event.


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Seiko Boutique - Opening Reception 1

Seiko Boutique - Opening Reception 2

Seiko Boutique - Opening Reception 3

Seiko Boutique - Opening Reception 4

Seiko Boutique - Opening Reception

On 2 March, an opening reception for "Seiko Boutique", the first Australian boutique by Seiko Watch Corporation, was held in Sydney. Chief Operating Officer Mr Hirohiko Umemoto, who was representing the company, explained Seiko's watch-making history and craftsmanship and expressed his hope that the boutique in the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) will be the hub for advertising the Seiko brand in Australia. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Masato Takaoka celebrated the occasion by hoping that Seiko’s watches will mark the time in Australia as the Seiko Clock Tower at Ginza 4 Chome has been a constant presence marking the time over generations. Their speeches were followed by the cutting of a watch-shaped cake as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony.


February 2016

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto 1

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto 2

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto 3

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto 4

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto 5

An evening with Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto

On 24 February a reception featuring a special performance by Geiko and Maiko from Gion, Kyoto, was held at the Consul-General’s official residence.

Along with receiving an introduction to the Gion ‘flower district’ of Kyoto and the profession of Geiko and Maiko by the “okami-san” who led the group, guests were treated to a beautiful performance by the Geiko and Maiko featuring songs, dance and shamisen.


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2016 Darwin Commemorative Service 1

2016 Darwin Commemorative Service 2

2016 Darwin Commemorative Service 3

Commemorative service for the 74th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin Day

On 19 February, a commemorative service was held in the Northern Territory city of Darwin in observance of the 74th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Masato Takaoka, participated in the service.

In this year’s service, as a sign of Australia and Japan’s close friendship, Consul-General Mr Takaoka, had the privilege of laying wreathes side by side with Senator Natasha Griggs, Federal Member for Solomon, Northern Territory who acted on behalf of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan.


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Former Prime Minister Gillard’s visit to the Consul-General’s residence 1

Former Prime Minister Gillard’s visit to the Consul-General’s residence 2

5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Former Prime Minister Gillard’s visit to the Consul-General’s residence

On 5 February, former Prime Minister Gillard visited the Consul-General, Mr Masato Takaoka’s residence. The Hon. Julia Gillard was the Prime Minister during the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and was the first foreign leader to visit the affected region after the disaster. The purpose of the visit was to record a video message to be presented at the Great East Japan Earthquake 5th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony on the 11th of March, 2016, hosted by the Japanese Club Rainbow Project.

In her message, former Prime Minister Gillard outlined her first-hand experience of witnessing the tragic aftermath of the disaster on ordinary people, during her visit to Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture. She was greatly moved by the plight of the victims and it is an experience which has stayed with her to this day. The former Prime Minister acknowledged the many challenges that still exist even five years after the disaster for reconstruction, but also wished to send her best regards to all the people in the affected areas and remind them that there is still hope on the horizon. During the visit Consul-General Mr Takaoka also joined in an interview with a representative from the Rainbow Project.

(Click here for more information about the Rainbow Project Memorial Ceremony)


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Sydney Japanese School visit by NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP 1

Sydney Japanese School visit by NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP 2

Sydney Japanese School visit by NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP 3

Sydney Japanese School visit by NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP

On 5 February, NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, visited the Sydney Japanese School and gave a lecture.

In answer to lively questions from the students, the Treasurer explained how she worked hard every day to improve civic life by managing the state budget.

Additionally, during her time as Transport Minister, she sought to improve the NSW rail transport through the introduction of the Opal card system, which is similar to the Suica IC card system used on bullet trains in Japan.

Furthermore, due to her Armenian background, the Treasurer stressed the importance of learning other foreign languages beyond Japanese and English.


January 2016

2016 Shadow Ministry Dinner 1

2016 Shadow Ministry Dinner 2

2016 Shadow Ministry Dinner 3

2016 Shadow Ministry Dinner 4

Dinner function with the Leader of the NSW Labor Party and Shadow Ministers

On 28 January, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka hosted a dinner function at his residence for NSW Labor MPs, which was attended by the Leader of the Party, Mr Luke Foley and 12 shadow Ministers. In their speeches, Mr Takaoka and Mr Foley both talked about the importance of Japan-Australia relations in areas such as economy, culture, tourism and sister cities. Mr Foley and the shadow ministers enjoyed Japanese food and sake and deepened their understanding and interest in Japan, while representatives from JETRO, CLAIR, The Japan Foundation and JNTO made presentations on their activities and the traditional Japanese drumming group, Wadaiko Rindo demonstrated in a live performance.


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