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Event Gallery - 2014-2015 Archive

April 2014

February 2014

January 2014

       

December 2015

2015 ANA Inaugural Flight 1

2015 ANA Inaugural Flight 2

2015 ANA Inaugural Flight 3

2015 ANA Inaugural Flight 4

2015 ANA Inaugural Flight 5

Inaugural Flight of ANA

On 12 December, the flight ceremony for the launch of the All Nippon Airways (ANA) inaugural flight between Tokyo Haneda and Sydney was held at Sydney airport. The ceremony was attended by Mr O’Dea, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Major Events and Tourism, Ms Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport CEO and Mr Kenya Inada, ANA Senior Vice President. The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, welcomed the inaugural flight and delivered a congratulatory speech during the ceremony.


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2015 Essay Contest 1

2015 Essay Contest 2

2015 Essay Contest 3

2015 Essay Contest 4

2015 Essay Contest 5

The 2015 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students Awards Ceremony

On 3 December at the Consul-General’s official residence, the award ceremony for the 2015 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students was held. Around 85 people attended the award ceremony which included the prize-winning students, their family, school officials, sponsors and representatives from the NSW Department of Education. The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka presented awards, plaques and prizes to the 24 student winners and the School of the Year.

The awards were followed by speeches from the Junior Division First Prize Winner, Ms Renee Tsang (Sydney Girls High School), the Senior Division First Prize Winner, Ms Maureen Olmo (Northern Beaches Secondary College, Mackellar Girls Campus), and the School of the Year, Sydney Girls High School.

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 2015 Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for NSW and NT Secondary School Students Awards Ceremony


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2015 Emperor's Birthday 1

2015 Emperor's Birthday 2

2015 Emperor's Birthday 3

2015 Emperor's Birthday 4

© Nichigo Press


2015 Emperor's Birthday 5

© Nichigo Press


2015 Emperor's Birthday 6

2015 Emperor's Birthday 7

2015 Emperor's Birthday 8

His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception

On 1 December, at his residence, the Consul-General Masato Takaoka hosted a reception to celebrate His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday. With some 270 guests from various fields participating, the national anthems of both countries - “Kimigayo” and “Advance Australian Fair” - were performed by Australian sailors. Subsequently, Consul-General Takaoka and the Hon. John Ajaka, Minister for Multiculturalism of NSW, delivered their speeches. This was followed by Kagami-biraki (a Japanese custom, opening the wooden top of a sake barrel with wooden mallets for the wishing of good fortune and harmony) by Mr Takaoka and thirteen guests, and then, the Hon. Tom Bathurst, Chief-Justice of NSW and Mr Takaoka made a toast.

In his speech, Consul-General Takaoka touched on the common values of the Japan-Australia relationship. Looking back on the past twelve months, he explained the advancement of cooperation in the field of security, the coming into force of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) along with the broader exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture and sport. (Click here for the speech). The Hon. John Ajaka extolled the special relationship between Australia and Japan, which is built on common values, supplementary bilateral trade relations and the Japanese communities’ contribution to NSW’s multiculturalism.


November 2015

2015 Matsuri in Sydney 1

2015 Matsuri in Sydney 2

2015 Matsuri in Sydney 3

2015 Matsuri in Sydney 4

2015 Matsuri in Sydney 5

Matsuri in Sydney

On 7 November, thousands of people gathered at Darling Harbour’s Palm Grove to attend the 7th Annual “Matsuri in Sydney” presented by Matsuri Inc. As with previous years, the festival aimed to introduce Japanese culture through live presentations of Taiko drums and shakuhachi, Bonodori and Soran dancing, karate demonstrations and J-Pop performances. Calligraphy, origami and flower arrangement workshops were also offered as well as a range of Japanese food, travel advice and tourism information.

During the Opening Ceremony, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, was joined by Cr Kok - representing the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Mr Mizukoshi - President of the Japan Club, and Mr Masuya - Chairman of the Japan Association, among others, for the traditional breaking open of the sake barrel known as “Kagamibiraki”.

The Consulate-General of Japan also had a booth introducing Japanese culture and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.


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Nagoya Day 2015 1

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35th Anniversary Events of the Nagoya-Sydney Sister City Relationship

On 1 November, “Nagoya Day” was held in Hyde Park to celebrate 35 years of the sister city friendship between Sydney and Nagoya. Sydneysiders were introduced to the regional food and culture of Nagoya and Japan. The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, was invited to deliver an opening address. On 2 November, a tree planting ceremony was held at Nagoya Garden in Hyde Park to plant sasanqua camellia trees donated by Nagoya City.

The mayor of Nagoya, Mr Takashi Kawamura, and members of the Nagoya City Assembly visited Sydney to attend these events.


October 2015

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada 1

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada 2

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada 3

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada 4

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation - Awarding Ceremony for Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada

On 28 October, Ms Cathy Jonak and Ms Sally Shimada were presented with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation by Consul-General Masato Takaoka, at the awarding ceremony held at his residence. The two teachers have been working for over forty years as pioneers of Japanese education in Australia. They have been active in their roles as the Senior Language Consultant in the Japanese language department at The Japan Foundation and the Japanese Language Officer at the NSW Department of Education, respectively.


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Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Cr Jenny Dowell 1

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation - Awarding Ceremony for Cr Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore

On 8 October, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, presented the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Cr Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore. The sister-city partnership established between Lismore and Yamato Takada in 1963 is the first and oldest sister-city relationship between Japan and Australia. Upon assuming the office of Mayor of Lismore in 2008, sister-city exchange and student exchange have been actively pursued between Lismore and Yamato Takada under Cr Dowell’s leadership. Notably, in 2013, the Mayor undertook various activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the sister-city relationship.


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Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Hideo Dekura 1

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Hideo Dekura 2

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Hideo Dekura 3

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation - Awarding Ceremony for Mr Hideo Dekura

On 7 October, Japanese cuisine master Mr Hideo Dekura was presented with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation by Consul-General Masato Takaoka, at the awarding ceremony held at his residence. Mr Dekura has worked in Sydney for more than 40 years to promote Japanese cuisine culture overseas. He has taught more than 20,000 students at the Sydney Seafood School and other educational institutions. He has also released more than a dozen books about Japanese food, of which the latest publication is “Sake”.


September 2015

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2015 1

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2015 2

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2015 3

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2015 4

Cowra Sakura Matsuri 2015 5

Cowra Sakura Matsuri

On 26 September, the annual Cowra Sakura Matsuri was held at the Cowra Japanese Garden. Afterwards, on 27 September, the 71st Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for the Cowra Breakout was held at the Japanese Cemetery. When the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, Cowra is very beautiful. On the evening of the Sakura Matsuri, Consul-General Masato Takaoka noted that the well managed Japanese cemetery and the beautifully manicured Japanese garden, serve as testament to the fact that the people of Cowra have been able to look beyond one instance of past tragedy, in order to develop a special friendship with Japan, for which Japan is truly grateful.


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Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Manuel Panagiotopoulos 1

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Manuel Panagiotopoulos 2

Foreign Minister's Commendation 2015 - Manuel Panagiotopoulos 3

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation - Awarding Ceremony for Mr Manuel Panagiotopoulos

On 25 September, Consul-General Masato Takaoka presented the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Mr Manuel Panagiotopoulos, Managing Director of Australian & Japanese Economic Intelligence, at the awarding ceremony held at the Consul-General’s residence. The Commendation recognises his remarkable contribution to promoting friendship and mutual understanding between the Japanese and Australian business communities for the past 30 years. Among his contributions, the Australia-Japan Roundtable, which started in Sydney in 2001 and expanded to Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Tokyo and Singapore, just completed its 100th seminar on 10 September, inviting The Hon Julie Bishop as a special guest.


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Inoue Yasushi 2015 1

Inoue Yasushi 2015 2

Inoue Yasushi 2015 3

9th Annual Inoue Yasushi Award Ceremony

On 18 September at the University of Sydney, the 9th Inoue Yashushi Award ceremony was held to celebrate outstanding achievement in Japanese Literature Studies by researchers based in Australia and New Zealand. The 9th Award was bestowed upon Mr Roger Pulvers, an Australian citizen who has lived in Japan for almost 50 years.

In his speech, Consul-General Masato Takaoka, as well as praising the winner, highlighted the importance of such an award to continue to promote interest and research into Japanese literature. After the ceremony, the audience were treated to a beautiful performance by the Sydney Sakura Choir and an English and Japanese poetry reading.


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Strathfield Spring Festival 1

Strathfield Spring Festival 2

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Strathfield Spring Festival 4

Strathfield Spring Festival

On 6 September, coinciding with Father’s Day, Strathfield Council held its annual Strathfield Spring Festival. As part of the Festival, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney presented “Japanese Spring Beats – Music from Japan” featuring performances by local Japanese acts: drumming group Wadaiko Rindo Sydney, the Satsuki Odamura Koto Ensemble led by Ms Satsuki Odamura and Sydney Sakura Choir led by Strathfield Symphony Orchestra music director Mr Sadaharu Muramatsu.


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Maules Creek 1

Maules Creek 2

Maules Creek Mine Opening Event

On 2 September, an Opening Event for Maules Creek Mine was held at the mining site, about 500km north of Sydney. The mine is a joint venture of Whitehaven Coal, ITOCHU and J-POWER, and has high quality coal reserves. The coal produced from the Maules Creek Mine will be mainly exported to Japan. The Opening Event was attended by the Hon Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry and Science. Consul-General Masato Takaoka celebrated the occasion by touching on the importance of Australia as a stable resource supplier and mentioning his hope that the mine will advance the economic partnership between the two countries.


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Maules Creek 4

[photograph: courtesy of Itochu Corporation]

August 2015

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Dinner with Sake

On 31 August, Consul-General Masato Takaoka hosted a “Dinner with Sake” at his official residence. Among the attendees were chefs, food journalists, a sommelier and a fashion designer who shared their fascination with the beauty of sake.


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AJS Coffs Harbour 1a

AJS Coffs Harbour 2a

Consul-General’s Commendation to the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour

On 21 August, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, honoured the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour with the Consul- General’s Commendation, at an event celebrating the Society’s 25th Anniversary. The Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour has been making remarkable contributions to promoting grassroots friendships between Japan and Australia , including sister-city relations between Coffs Harbour and Sasebo.


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2015 Ikebana 1

2015 Ikebana 2

2015 Ikebana 3

2015 Ikebana 4

55th Anniversary of Ikebana International Sydney Chapter

On 21 August, Consul-General Masato Takaoka attended a luncheon to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of Ikebana International Sydney Chapter. The Consul-General congratulated the chapter on the milestone and thanked past and current members for their long-time dedication and passionate commitment to promoting ikebana. He said that their efforts had brought Japan and Australia ‘closely and beautifully together’.

Masters from the Sogetsu school of ikebana came from Japan to attend the luncheon and gave six different ikebana demonstrations. There was also an exhibition of beautiful ikebana arrangements by Ikebana International Sydney members which were enjoyed by the luncheon guests.

[photographs courtesy of Ikebana International Sydney Chapter]


July 2015

JET Farewell 2015 1

JET Farewell 2015 2

JET Programme Farewell Reception

On 10 July, the 2015 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme Farewell Reception was held at the Consul-General’s official residence. The number of new participants is 29 for New South Wales and 118 for Australia. The participants will be assigned to schools and municipalities throughout Japan to assist with language education and with projects related to international activities etc.


June 2015

Cowra Visit 2015 1

Cowra Visit 2015 2

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Consul-General Masato Takaoka’s visit to Cowra

On 23 June, Consul-General Masato Takaoka made an official trip to Cowra and visited the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries, the Prisoner of War Camp Site and the Japanese Garden. Mr Takaoka, along with Mayor of Cowra Council Cr Bill West, laid flower wreathes at the cemeteries and planted a cherry tree at the Prisoner of War Camp Site.


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Japan Travel Seminar 2015 1

Japan Travel Seminar 2015 2

Japan Travel Seminar 2015

On 10 June, JNTO hosted the Travel Seminar 2015 in Sydney. Representatives from Tokyo, Chiba, Hyogo, Matsumoto City, Central Japan Railway Company and Universal Studios Japan had booths to introduce each location's tourist attractions. At the Seminar, Consul-General Masato Takaoka told participants Japan is overflowing with attractions due to the variety of regions and their rich food culture, and encouraged participants to visit Japan to experience the heart of Japanese hospitality.


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Kuttabul Memorial Ceremony 1

Kuttabul Memorial Ceremony 2

73rd Anniversary Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul

On 1 June, at the Kuttabul Naval Base, a memorial service was held to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Kuttabul by a Japanese midget submarine. In this year’s ceremony, along with the names of the sailors on the HMAS Kuttabul, the names of the six Japanese submariners were also read. The Commanding Officer of HMAS Kuttabul, Rebecca Jeffcoat, paid tribute to the bravery of the submariners and commemorated the loss of all those who gave their lives for their country during wartime. The Consul-General of Japan, Mr Masato Takaoka, was also invited to the ceremony and laid a wreath.


May 2015

MUJI Sydney - Official Opening Ceremony 1

MUJI Sydney - Official Opening Ceremony 2

MUJI Sydney - Official Opening Ceremony

On 23 May, an official opening ceremony was held for MUJI’s flagship store in Sydney - MUJI The Galleries - with the presence of Mr Satoru Matsuzaki, President of Ryohin Keikaku Co. Ltd.

Consul-General Masato Takaoka also joined in the ceremony to commemorate the occasion, stating in his speech that MUJI’s store would bring Japan closer to people in Australia.


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AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 1

AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 2

AJS-NSW 2015 University Awards Night

On 19 May, 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 current political and economic situation in Japan and the ongoing Japan-Australia relationship.

AJS-NSW Award Ceremony 3

After the ceremony, the president of AJS-NSW, Mr Philip Mitchell, joined other members of AJS-NSW, professors and students from the participating universities, the prize winners and their families for a reception.

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

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Snow & Adventure Seminar 2015

Japan Snow & Adventure Seminar 2015

On 18 May, JNTO hosted the Japan Snow & Adventure Seminar 2015 in Sydney. Representatives from Japan’s main ski regions including Hokkaido, Tohoku, Nagano and Niigata made presentations on each ski resort and what they can offer. At the seminar, Consul-General Masato Takaoka told participants that Japan is famous for having some of the world’s best powder snow areas and an ideal ski destination for Australians. Mr Takaoka also said apart from snow, there are many other things to enjoy in Japan, such as food, sake, hot spring and nature, and expressed his hope that more Australians will visit Japan and experience Japanese style hospitality.


April 2015

Sumitomo Rubber

Sumitomo Rubber Australia Pty. Ltd. - Official Opening Ceremony

On 30 April at the Waterfront in Circular Quay, a ceremony was held to mark the official opening of Sumitomo Rubber Australia Pty. Ltd., in Sydney. Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. President and CEO, Mr Ikuji Ikeda and Mr Craig Kelly MP attended the ceremony as well as Consul-General Masato Takaoka who spoke to congratulate the opening.


March 2015

2014 Essay Contest 1

The First NSW & NT Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for Secondary School Students Award Ceremony

On 11 March at the Consul-General’s official residence, the award ceremony for the First NSW & NT Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest for Secondary School Students was held. Mr Masato Takaoka, the Consul-General of Japan, presented plaques and certificates to the 22 awardees present, of the total 26 prize winners. About 75 guests attended the ceremony which included representatives from the NSW Department of Education, school officials, judges, the students and their families, and The Hon. Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills, Parliament of NSW, as guest of honor.

2014 Essay Contest 2

The First Prize in the Junior Division was awarded to Simone Cooper (St Columba’s Catholic College) and the First Prize in the Senior Division was awarded to Emily Kim (North Sydney Girls' High School), who each gave a speech at the Ceremony. The School of the Year was awarded to North Sydney Girls' High School and accepted by the Principal, Mr David Tomlin and the Head Japanese Teacher, Ms Sally Mizoshiri. The Senior Division First Prize winner, Emily Kim, was also presented with a return flight to Japan courtesy of JTB and Japan Airlines.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all the winners, and our gratitude to all the participants of the contest, and to the sponsors for their invaluable support.

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The Consul-General of Japan presents: “The Art of Sake”

On March 10, the Consulate General of Japan in Sydney was proud to hold an exclusive sake cultural lecture – “The Art of Sake” – at the official residence of Mr Masato Takaoka, the Consul-General of Japan.

The lecture was presented by the eminent sake expert, Mr Andre Bishop, who is the only Australian national to hold the title of “Sake Samurai” – the highest honour awarded by the Japanese sake industry.

Mr Bishop outlined the sake production process, observed the state of the sake market in Australia and introduced the best combination of cuisines to pair with sake. He shared his passion for the unique charms of sake with over 50 attendees, whom included leading gourmet food editors, journalists, charismatic chefs, expert sommeliers and discerning bar managers, who were all keen to promote the fledgling relationship between the Australian culinary scene and Japanese sake.

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The Art Of Sake 4

Also joining the event were five Sydney based sake distributors (Daiwa Food, JFC, Jun Pacific, Déjà vu Sake, Sakenet Australia), and three Japanese breweries (Asahishuzo, Kizakura and Yoshikubo). Together they introduced guests to sake representative of over 14 prefectures, 17 breweries and 25 varieties. The Consul-General’s Official residence chef also prepared a specially designed tasting menu, which fused Japanese culinary influences with the freshest local ingredients, to provide guests with the perfect accompaniment to the sake on offer.

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Clean Up Australia Day 2015

Clean Up Australia Day

On March 1, on the occasion of the 25th Clean Up Australia Day (a day to encourage people across the nation to clean up), the Japanese Society of Sydney organized a clean-up event in the Lane Cove National Park. 177 volunteers including Mr Masato Takaoka, the Consul-General of Japan, participated in the event and cleaned up the park and the nearby roads for two hours. The participants, including families and small children, enjoyed a barbecue lunch after the clean-up event.


February 2015

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Commemorative service for the Bombing of Darwin Day

On February 19, a commemorative service was held in the Northern Territory city of Darwin in observance of the 73rd Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin. Masato Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan, were invited to participate and laid wreathes. At the ceremony, the Administrator of the Northern Territory the Honourable John Hardy OAM, Chief Minister Adam Giles and Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim gave tributes to the war dead who gave their lives for their country.


January 2015

Cessnock 2015

Asian Cup Cessnock City Charity Match - Japan vs Auckland City

On 4 January 2015, Acting Consul-General Katsutoshi Miyakawa joined the Mayor of Cessnock, Cr Bob Pynsent, to welcome the Japan National Football Team and the Auckland City Football Club before the start of Cessnock City Charity Match, in preparation for the upcoming Asian Cup.

[photograph courtesy of The Advertiser, Cessnock]


December 2014

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Matsuri in Sydney

On 13 December at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, thousands of people gathered for the “Matsuri in Sydney”, organised by the Festival Executive Committee. The Matsuri in Sydney is an annual event aimed at introducing traditional and modern Japanese culture to Australia, and promoting mutual friendship and understanding between the two nations. The festival included Taiko drum and Soran dance performances, calligraphy and sushi demonstrations, J-pop and J-rock shows, as well Japanese travel and tourism exhibitions, complete with people dressed in colourful cosplay costumes, Yukata and Kimono.

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After delivering his opening remarks, Consul-General Masato Takaoka joined with Councilor Robert Kok – representing the Mayor of Sydney, Mr Yushiro Mizukoshi – the President of the Japan Club, Mr Masaki Hayashi – Director of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mr Takanobu Nakamasu – President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for the traditional breaking open of the sake barrels known as “Kagamibiraki”.

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Central Synagogue 2014

Ceremony to honour Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara at the Sydney Central Synagogue

On 6 December at the Sydney Central Synagogue, a ceremony was held to honour Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara for his efforts in issuing special transit visas to Jewish refugees during the Second World War, which saved thousands of lives. The ceremony was attended by Mr Sugihara’s great-grandson, Keisuke Sugihara. The ceremony was presided over by Rabbi Levi Wolff, whose maternal grandfather was saved by one of the visas issued by Mr Sugihara. He expressed his undying gratitude for Mr Sugihara’s courage and humanitarian actions, without which, his own family would not be alive today.
Consul-General Masato Takaoka was also invited to speak and he praised Mr Sugihara for being a “courageous diplomat of humanity” and for building a bridge between Japan and the Jewish community around the world. (Click here for the speech). The descendants of those saved by Mr Sugihara’s “Visas of Life” expressed their tearful and heartfelt gratitude and a Japanese flag was displayed in the Synagogue to mark this important occasion.

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Emperor's Birthday 2014_1

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Emperor’s Birthday Celebration Reception

On 2 December at the Consul-General’s residence, Consul-General Masato Takaoka hosted a reception to celebrate the Emperor’s 81st birthday. With more than 200 guests from various fields participating, Consul-General Masato Takaoka and the Hon. Bradley Hazzard, Attorney-General of NSW delivered their speeches, followed by Kagamibiraki (a Japanese custom, opening the wooden top of a sake barrel with wooden mallets for good fortune and wishing for harmony) performed by Mr Takaoka and nine guests, and then, the Hon. Tom Buthurst, Chief-Justice of NSW and Mr Takaoka made a toast for the other’s Head of State.


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In his speech, Consul-General Takaoka, looking back on the past ten months since he assumed his position, explained that the bilateral relations between the two countries have deepened through reciprocal visits by the Prime Ministers of both countries, the conclusion of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and interaction of the citizens of both countries at various levels. (Click here for the speech). The Hon. Bradley Hazzard, touching on his visit to Japan, expressed his hope that the relationship between the two countries as well as between Japan and the state of NSW will develop further.

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The reception warmed up with the Kagamibiraki and the guests enjoyed Japanese food culture represented by sushi and sake counters which were set up in the venue.

November 2014

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Japanese Film Festival Reception

On 17 November at the Consul-General’s residence, a reception was held to celebrate the opening film of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Film Festival (Sydney) – Lady Maiko – and welcome the director Mr Masayuki Suo and lead actress Ms Mone Kamishiraishi.


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Consul-General Masato Takaoka honoured the achievements of the Japan Foundation for organising the world’s largest Japanese Film Festival outside of Japan. He commended Director Suo for increasing the understanding of Japanese culture and society internationally through his previous masterpieces such as “Shall We Dance?” and his latest work “Lady Maiko”, which was chosen as the opening night film for the 18th Japanese Film Festival here in Sydney. He also congratulated Ms Kamishiraishi for making her stunning debut in the same film.

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Director Suo and lead actress Ms Kamishiraishi also said a few words. Director Suo stated that while his work has tended to focus on Japanese culture and society, the themes of “family” and “humanity” are universal, and he hopes that he can continue to share such sentiments with Australia and the rest of the world.

A formal toast was delivered by Mr Andrew Stoner MP, Member for Oxley and former Deputy Premier of NSW. Additionally, representatives from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and other members of the film, theatre and arts community were also in attendance.

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UNIQLO Sydney Flagship Store - Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On 13 November, Consul-General Masato Takaoka joined the Australian CEO of Uniqlo, Shoichi Miyasaka, for the official ribbon cutting to mark the opening of UNIQLO’s flagship Sydney store at the Mid-City Centre in Pitt St Mall.


October 2014

Inoue Yasushi 1

8th Annual Inoue Yasushi Award Ceremony

On Friday 31 October at the University of Sydney, the Inoue Yasushi Award ceremony was held to celebrate outstanding achievement in Japanese Literature Studies by researchers based in Australia and New Zealand.

The 8th annual award was bestowed upon University of Sydney Assistant Professor Rebecca Suter for her work entitled: “Grand Demons and Little Devils: Akutagawa's Kirishitan mono as a Mirror of Modernity”. It was presented by Inoue Yasushi's eldest daughter, Ms Ikuyo Uraki and Inoue Yasushi Memorial Foundation Executive Director, Mr Pucheng. In his speech, Consul-General Masato Takaoka, as well as praising the winner, highlighted the importance of such awards to continue to promote interest and research into Japanese literature.


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In addition to the awards ceremony, Japanese choir "Sakura, Sakura" performed some Japanese songs and a screening of Inoue Yasushi’s original film "Chronicle of My Mother" was held.

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UNSW Conference 2014

University of New South Wales, Japanese Studies Student Conference

On Friday 31 October, the University of New South Wales held their Japanese Studies Student Conference.

A total of seven groups researched and presented on a range of different topics, including Japanese “kawaii” culture, the difference in popularity between American comics and Japanese manga, and Japanese candid camera television programs.

Consul-General Masato Takaoka praised the university students and their professors for their ongoing efforts to shed light on Japanese values and culture, and hoped that they would endeavour to act as a bridge of understanding between Australia and Japan.


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Foreign Minister’s Commendation awarded to Ms Junko Morimoto

Consul-General Masato Takaoka presented the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation to Ms Junko Morimoto on the 21st October, at his official residence.

Since immigrating to Australia over 30 years ago, in 1982, Ms Morimoto has published 14 children’s books, including The White Crane (1983), The Inch Boy (1985) and Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award Winners Kojuro and the Bears (1987) and The Two Bullies (1998).


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Additionally, she courageously recounted her own experiences of the devastation of atomic bombs through her book My Hiroshima (1997), and worked tirelessly to impart the value of peace and the folly of war to primary and secondary students throughout regional New South Wales.

In light of these achievements, she was deemed a worthy recipient of the 2014 Foreign Minister's Commendation from the Japanese Government.

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Consul-General Masato Takaoka thanked Ms Morimoto for sharing her wonderful stories and folktales, which have enriched and deepened Australians’ understanding of Japan. Additionally, he commended her for recounting her personal experiences through her book My Hiroshima, which has helped to promote a positive image of Japan as a country that aspires for peace, despite being the only nation in the world to suffer the devastation of nuclear war.

As well as expressing gratitude in her own speech, Ms Morimoto conveyed her humble hopes that her picture books will continue to promote peaceful relations and mutual understanding between Australian and Japanese youth, as well as children throughout the world.

September 2014

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Cowra Sakura Matsuri & Service of Respect

The Cowra Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) was held on Saturday 27 September. There was a variety of events and demonstrations introducing Japanese culture, such as gagaku music, the shakuhachi flute, wadaiko drumming, karate and aikido.

On 28 September, a Service of Respect was held at the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries. The service was attended by Cowra Shire Mayor, Cr Bill West, and the Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Katsutoshi Miyakawa, who together laid a wreath in memory of the fallen.

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Port of call of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Training Squadron in Sydney

On the morning of September 11, the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces Training Squadron made port in Sydney, consisting of the training ships Kashima and Setoyuki and the destroyer Asagiri. The stop formed part of the Training Squadron’s ‘Overseas Training Cruise 2014’, a 158-day journey stopping at 15 international ports.


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That evening a reception was held aboard the Kashima which was jointly hosted by the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, Mr Masato Takaoka, and the Commander of the Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Hideki Yuasa. The reception was well attended by senior figures from government, military, academia and business as well as notables such as Olympic champion Ms Dawn Fraser AO MBE and Assistant Commissioner Robert MacNeil of Fire and Rescue NSW, who led Australia’s contribution to rescue operations following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. About 200 guests participated in total. At the reception, Japanese food and sake were served to the reception participants, who were able to appreciate the pleasant atmosphere on board.


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In his welcoming speech at the reception, Consul-General Masato Takaoka thanked all who gave cooperation to Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces Training Squadron’s visit Sydney, and also spoke of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic and successful visit to Australia in July, which elevated relations between the two countries to new levels - increasing already strong Japan-Australia relations in terms of signing the Japan-Australia EPA and strengthening ties in economic and security fields (Click here for the speech).


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During its stay in Australia, the Training Squadron participated in a range of events, including: a wreath laying commemoration to mark the 1942 attack on Sydney Harbour; a lecture by Rear Admiral Yuasa at a local university; and sports exchanges (including friendly matches with the Royal Australian Navy and exchange with the Kendo Association of NSW). Additionally special tours were held for children from the local Japanese community. On September 14, the Training Squadron departed for Honiara, the next stop on its international tour.


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MOU Signing Ceremony between Japan’s National Institute for Material Science and NSW State Government

On 10 September, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the NSW Government and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science(NIMS) at the NSW Parliament. The Hon Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary Secretary Tertiary Education & Skills and Professor Sukekatsu Ushida, NIMS President were the signers. The ceremony was witnessed by Professor Mark Hoffman, Pro Vice-Chancellor, the University of NSW, and Consul-General Masato Takaoka who made a congratulatory address to the conclusion of the MOU.



This MOU will promote the research collaboration including the exchange of people and scientific/technical information between universities in NSW and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science.

August 2014

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Japan Centre 10th Anniversary Ceremony at the Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW.

On 30 August at the Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Councillor Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore, and the Honourable John Dowd, Chancellor of Southern Cross University, received Consul-General Masato Takaoka to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Father Tony Glynn Japan Centre.

At the same ceremony, Consul-General Masato Takaoka paid tribute to the people of Lismore and Yamato-Takada for their efforts in grass-roots exchange that helped to establish the first sister city relationship between Australia and Japan in 1963. Since then, the friendly relations between our nations have continued to grow, and thanks to the co-operation and support of university and city officials, the establishment of the Japan Centre serves as worthy testament to this fact.


July 2014

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JET Programme Farewell Reception

On 16 July, 28 new participants for the 2014 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme were farewelled by the Consul-General, members of the JET Alumni Association and other special guests. The participants will be departing in July and August and the total number of participants from NSW will be 32 this year.


June 2014

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Unveiling Ceremony for Plaques in Woollahra

On 6 June, a commemorative plaque was unveiled in a ceremony on Small Street in Woollahra by Mayor Zeltzer. The plaque commemorates the site which was bombarded by the Japanese armed forces in 1942.

Deputy Consul-General Toshiaki Kobayashi attended the ceremony on behalf of the Japanese consulate in Sydney.

In her address, Mayor Zeltzer remarked that the plaque will serve as a historical record of the war. She was also pleased to note the friendly and cooperative relationship Japan and Australia share today.


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The plaque reads "Bombardment 1942
Shell from Japanese submarine attack exploded here
8 June 1942".

May 2014

Memorial Service for HMAS Kuttabul and Japanese Midget Submarines

On 30 May, a memorial service organised by the Royal Australian Navy was held at the Garden Island naval base, HMAS Kuttabul commemorating the 72nd anniversary of those who lost their lives in an attack on Sydney harbour by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Senior members of the Commonwealth Government, Navy and Consular Corps, including Mr Masato Takaoka, the Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, were invited to participate and laid wreathes in tribute to those who died.


Before the ceremony, Consul-General Masato Takaoka also laid a wreath at a memorial to the crew of the midget submarines.

 

In a speech given by the Commanding Officer of the HMAS Kuttabul, Commander Todd Willson, the continuing significance of reconciliation between Japan and Australia was emphasised, as was strengthening Japan-Australia relations into the future.

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Snow & Adventure Seminar 2014

On 26 May, JNTO hosted the Snow & Adventure Seminar 2014 in Sydney. Representatives from Japan’s main ski regions including Hokkaido, Tohoku, Nagano and Niigata made presentations about the holiday experiences their regions offer. At the Seminar, Consul-General Masato Takaoka told participants how Japan is an ideal ski spot for Australians and it is famous for having some of the best powder snow in the world. The Consul-General also expressed his hope that Australians will visit Japan not only for skiing but also for other enjoyable experiences including Japanese cuisine, Japanese culture and onsen.

March 2014

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

The Japanese icebreaker ‘Shirase’, carrying the 55th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), arrived in Sydney on March 15 en route back to Japan. The Shirase had successfully completed its mission to deliver supplies and personnel to Showa Station (Japan’s Antarctic research station).

During the Shirase’s stay in Sydney, several special events were held. Captain Koji Hidaka visited representatives of the Australian navy and local government and took the opportunity to lay wreaths at HMAS Kuttabul. Furthermore, special tours of Shirase were conducted for school children and business people. Shirase departed Sydney on March 21.

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On the evening of the ship’s arrival in Sydney, a reception was held on board. More than 200 people participated, including Australian and Japanese representatives from government, academia and business. At the reception, Japanese food and drink were served to the participants, who enjoyed the friendly atmosphere on deck.

Consul-General Masato Takaoka emphasised in his speech at the reception the hardships faced by Captain Hidaka during the journey and by the JARE team during their year on Showa Station. Consul-General Masato Takaoka also remarked on his desire to broaden and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

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Great East Japan Earthquake Third Anniversary event

On 11 March, the NSW branch of the Australia-Japan Society, NSW Branch (AJS NSW), organised a memorial event for the three year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The event was opened by Mr Peter Gibson, who has travelled to the affected areas in Japan on foot. Consul-General Masato Takaoka spoke about the reconstruction effort that are ongoing in the affected area, and again expressed his gratitude for the friendship and support from Australia.


 

Also, Mr Philip Mitchell, President of the AJS NSW, presented a donation raised by AJS NSW to fund the ongoing reconstruction efforts in the affected area to Consul-General Masato Takaoka. The donation will be sent from the Consulate-General of Japan to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

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Plaque unveiled at Cowra War Cemetery

On 9 March, the Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West, led a ceremony to unveil a plaque at the entrance of the path to the Japanese War Cemetery. The plaque tells the story of how Japanese civilians were interned in camps in Australia during the Second World War and how the cemetery in Cowra came to be the resting place for those who died while in the internment camps.

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After the unveiling ceremony, services of respect were held at both the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries in memory of those who died during the war, including the civilian internees. Deputy Consul-General Toshiaki Kobayashi attended on behalf of the Consulate; he laid a wreath and paid his respects to the memory of the fallen.

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Clean Up Australia Day & BBQ

On 2 March, Consul-General Masato Takaoka and Deputy Consul-General Toshiaki Kobayashi joined 120 volunteers from the Japanese Society of Sydney Inc. (JSSI) and the Japan Club of Sydney in a Clean Up Australia event in Lane Cove National Park. It was the largest ever Clean Up Australia event held by the groups and it showed the strong ties in the Sydney Japanese community and the strong bonds of friendship.

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The volunteers collected these “mountains of rubbish”. Across Australia, 570,000 people attended events and helped to clear away rubbish from over 7,000 locations. In all, over 15,700 tonnes of waste was collected around the country.

(Photo Credit: Japan Club of Sydney)

 


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Ikebana Sogetsu Exhibition

On 1 March, Consul-General Masato Takaoka attended the Sogetsu Ikebana exhibition held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. In his opening remarks, Consul-General Masato Takaoka said that seeing the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging, using unique native Australian native flowers and plants, he felt a new sense of beauty had been created and that this cultural fusion is part of what makes Sydney so attractive. The exhibition featured beautiful ikebana arranged by both Japanese and Australians, using vases especially created by ceramists, including Shoji Mitsuo.


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