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Event Report (2015)

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The 2015 Emperor's Birthday Reception

The Emperor’s Birthday Reception was held on Thursday, December 3, at the official residence of Consul-General Haneda. The reception was attended by around 350 people, including representatives of the State Government and the Opposition, members of Parliament, local governments, Consular Corps in Melbourne, cultural and educational organisations and business communities from Japan and Australia.

Consul-General Haneda made a speech, followed by congratulatory remarks by Mr Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer, on behalf of the Premier, and Mr Brad Battin MP on behalf of the Opposition.

During the reception the guests had the opportunity to enjoy a Wadaiko (Japanese drums) performance and a tasge of sake, and participate in Japanese tea ceremonies and ikebana workshops. Free samples of beer from Japanese brewers were offered as part of the refreshments. The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne displayed panels on their business activities, while some members of the Chamber distributed a range of free samples to guests in the evening.

JET Returnee Reception

On Thursday 5 November, Consul-General Haneda hosted a reception at her residence to welcome JET Programme participants who have recently returned from Japan. The reception was attended by the Hon Telmo Languiller MP, President of the Legislative Assembly, on behalf of Minister for Multicultural Affairs, and Mr Brad Battin MP, Shadow Minister for Environment and Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Japan in Victoria. Other attendees included members of the business and educational sectors, as well as many former JET Programme participants.

Matsuri on Mobara

Matsuri on Mobara (Japanese Cultural Festival) was held at Mobara Park, Salisbury City, SA on Sunday 25 October. Salisbury and Mobara have been sister cities since 2002. Mr Takeshi Tanabe, Deputy Consul-General, attended the festival and delivered a speech. Visitors including many local residents enjoyed demonstrations of Japanese swordsmanship and aikido, taiko drum performances, Japanese music and dance, Japanese tea ceremonies, Japanese storytelling, rakugo and plenty of Japanese food.

2015 Spring Gala Dinner

The 2015 Spring Gala Dinner was held at Pullman Melbourne on the Park on Friday, 16 October. The annual dinner is jointly organised by the Australia-Japan Society of Victoria, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Melbourne and the Japanese Society of Melbourne.

The guest speaker at the event was the Ambassador of Japan to Australia, His Excellency Mr Sumio Kusaka. In his speech the Ambassador spoke of the depth of the relationship between Australia and Japan and of the recent strengthening of economic ties between the two countries. The text of the Ambassador's speech is available on the Embassy's website.

Consul-General Handeda also attended the dinner and awarded one of the special door prizes as one of the VIPs.

2015 Japan Culture and Art Festival

On Sunday 11 October, the 2015 Japan Culture and Art Festival was held at the Collingwood Town Hall. Consul-General Haneda made an opening address at the event.

Visitors enjoyed, among other things, participating in workshops on origami and shodo, watching aikido, shamisen and J-pop performed on the stage and tasting ocha and Japanese food.

The Victorian Final of the Japanese Language Speech Contest 2015

The Victorian Final of the 46th Japanese Language Speech Contest was held on Sunday, 13 September. Congratulations to the winners, who are listed below.

The National Final was held on Saturday, 10 October 2015 at the Japan Foundation, Sydney, where the winners of the state and territory contests competed.

Consul-General Ms Haneda’s Commendation to the State of Victoria and 17 Victorian Sister Cities

On 24 August, the Consul-General Ms Keiko Haneda honoured the State of Victoria and 17 Victorian sister cities of Japan with the Commendation at the Engaging Japan Forum hosted by the State of Victoria. The Commendation was given with the recognition of their distinguished contributions to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia.
Cr Andrew Munroe, Mayor, Whitehorse City Council Cr Michael Adamson, Mayor, Swan Hill Rural City Council
Mr Glenn Milne, Mayor, Mildura Rural City Council Cr John Philips, Mayor, City of Ballarat
Cr Paul Morgan, Deputy Mayor, Hobsons Bay City Council Cr Jim Magee, Mayor, Glen Eira City Council
Cr Rodney Parker, Mayor, Mitchell Shire Council Cr Leigh Wilson, Mayor, Shire of Campaspe
Cr Jennifer Anderson, Mayor, Macedon Ranges Shire Council Mr Peter Patterson Chairperson, Frankston Susono Friendship Association
Cr Jane Touzeau, Councillor, City of Port Phillip Cr Dinny Adem, Councillor, Greater Shepparton Council
Mr Ben James, City of Melbourne Ms Aki Sakaki, Latrobe City Council
Mr David McKenzie, Warrnambool City Council Advisory Committee Member Mr Daryl Wilson, Wyndham City Council
Mr Mark Brear, Department of Premier and Cabinet

The 2015 JET Programme Farewell Reception

The 2015 JET Programme Farewell Reception was held at the official residence of the Consul-General Ms Keiko Haneda on Thursday, 23 July. The reception was attended by Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of the Legislative Council, and Hon Steve Herbert MLC, Minister for Training and Skills, and International Education. Minister Herbert is a Co-Chair of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Japan. Other attendees included officials from the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR Sydney), representatives of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japanese lecturers and teachers and former JET Programme participants.

The 2015 JET Programme participants departed on Saturday, 25 July, to commence their one-year contracts as Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) or Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) in Japan.

For information on the JET Programme, please visit the JET Programme website.

44th Anniversary of the Whitehorse-Matsudo Sister City Relationship

On Tuesday, 12 May, Consul-General Haneda attended a ceremony to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Whitehorse and Matsudo in Chiba Prefecture. The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Whitehorse, Cr Andrew Munroe, the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon Bruce Atkinson, and many others who have contributed to the Whitehorse-Matsudo relationship and the Australia-Japan relationship more broadly.

The reception was followed by the formal planting of a tree by the Consul-General and Mayor Munroe. After the tree planting ceremony, Mayor Munroe held a telephone conversation with the Mayor of Matsudo, Kenji Hongoya. Mayor Munroe also responded to questions from students of Matsudo Elementary School via Skype.

Japan Festival 2015

On Sunday 17 May, the 2015 Japan Festival, presented by the Japan Club of Victoria, was held at the Box Hill Town Hall and Box Hill Institute. Consul-General Haneda made an opening address at the event.

The Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of the Victorian Legislative Council, Cr Andrew Munroe, Mayor of the City of Whitehorse and Mr Chidambaram S Srinivasan, Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission were also present at the festival.

This year again, an information booth was set up to provide services including applications for residence and electoral registration for Japanese overseas residents. Visitors enjoyed, among other things, food from Japanese food stalls, a kimono competition, a cosplay contest, as well as taiko drumming, kendo, aikido and shamisen performed on the stage.

Sake Seminar

On Monday 23 March, the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne hosted a public sake seminar in Melbourne, which attracted over 100 people mostly from the general public. Ms Maho Otsuka, the Toji, or Master Brewer, of Shotoku Brewery in Kyoto explained the history and various methods of sake making. After the seminar, the audience enjoyed tasting four different kinds of sake from Shotoku together with matching local food.

Consul-General visits Avalon Air Show

Consul-General Haneda visited Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) troops at Avalon Air Show on Feb 27th. JASDF has participated in the Air Show since 2013, and this year a KC-767 Refueling/ Transport aircraft flew from Komaki Air Base in Aichi to participate.

Also Shubu Daiko, which is comprised of Iruma Air Base staff, performed Wadaiko to the visitors of the Air Show.

Cricket Function

On Monday 16 February, a Japan-Australia cricket exchange was held at the official residence of Consul-General Haneda. The event was attended by around 70 people, including members of the Japan Cricket Association and Cricket Victoria, players of Australian and Japanese national teams, and members of the Japanese Society of Melbourne. After a lecture of the rules of cricket by Mr Naoki Miyaji, CEO of the Japan Cricket Association, the participants were able to throw and hit cricket balls at the event.

Consul-General Haneda visits the Shire of Campaspe and the City of Greater Bendigo

Consul-General Haneda completed a two-day tour (3 and 4 February 2015) of the Shire of Campaspe and the City of Greater Bendigo.

On 3 February, the Consul-General toured factories and farms of Kagome Australia in Echuca, Campaspe and called on the Mayor of Campaspe for informal discussions.

On 4 February, the Consul-General visited Kyabram College in Campaspe which has a sister school relationship with five schools in the City of Shiroi in Chiba Prefecture and Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, a sister school of Nara Prefectural Gojo Senior High School. On the same day, the Consul-General met the Mayor of Bendigo and others for informal talks.

Consul-General Haneda visits Kyabram P-12 and Girton Grammar School

On Wednesday 4 February, Consul-General Haneda visited Kyabram P-12 and Girton Grammar School. At each school, the Consul-General met with the Principal and was taken on a tour of the campus.

The visits were made as part of a two-day tour of the Shire of Campaspe and the City of Greater Bendigo. Campaspe has a sister city relationship with Shiroi in Japan and Kyabram P-12 has a long-standing sister school relationship with multiple schools in that city. Students at Girton Grammar School study the Japanese language and the language staff include both Australian and Japanese nationals.

The Consul-General met with students from Girton Grammar School