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Event Reports

Tokyo 2020 One-year Countdown Reception

On 6 August 2019, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a reception at his official residence to celebrate the one-year countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Attendees included Ms Danielle Green MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Mr Ian Chesterman AM, Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Olympians past and present, including seven Olympians who competed at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, members of the Victorian Olympic Council and Japanese and Australian business representatives.
Group Photo
Consul-General Matsunaga's speech Mr Ian Chesterman's speech

Conferral Ceremony of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for Mr Frank Watson Paton

On 5 July 2019, Consul-General Matsunaga held a ceremony at the official residence to award the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, to Mr Frank Watson Paton. This medal was bestowed by His Majesty the Emperor in recognition of Mr Paton’s contributions towards fostering friendly relations between Japan and Australia through his roles as a lawyer to the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne, and as Chairman and Vice-President of the Australia-Japan Society of Victoria.

Mr Paton was joined by family and friends to honour the occasion.
Group Photo
Mr Paton and Consul-General Matsunaga Mr Paton's speech

JNTO Japan Roadshow 2019

On 20 May, Consul-General Matsunaga gave a speech at the opening of the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) Japan Roadshow 2019 in Melbourne. He spoke about the meaning of the new Reiwa era, the traditional and modern sides of Japan that coexist in harmony, and the importance of having real-life cultural experiences when visiting Japan.

Also speaking were Mr Craig Wing, an Australian former member of Japan’s national rugby union team, and representatives from JNTO Sydney.

Many local tour companies and tourism organisations attended the event, as well as Japanese local governments and tourist organisations promoting tourism in Japan.

Pre-Departure Reception for the Melbourne Rebels

On Tuesday 14 May, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a pre-departure reception for the Melbourne Rebels ahead of the match against Sunwolves at his residence. The reception was part of our efforts to promote this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Around 60 guests attended the reception, including the Hon. Luke Donnellan (Minister for Child Protection and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers), Hon. David Hodgett (Shadow Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events), Mr Tim North QC (Rugby Victoria President), Mr Paul Docherty (Melbourne Rebels Chairman), and Mr Dane Haylett-Petty (Melbourne Rebels captain). Other attendees included players from the Melbourne Rebels, coaches, representatives from Rugby Victoria, State Government, and Japanese and Australian business representatives, including travel agents.
Consul-General Matsunaga's speech Group photo
Consul-General Matusnaga's speech Food at the reception

Reception to Celebrate the Imperial Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito

On Monday 6 May, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a reception to celebrate the Imperial Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito at his residence.

More than 30 guests attended the reception, including the Hon Linda Dessau AC, the Governor of Victoria, and other dignitaries including Mr Josh Bull MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, and the Hon David Davis MP. After the congratulatory speech by the Governor, the Consul-General made his remarks, introducing that Emperor Naruhito’s first overseas visit was for homestay in Melbourne. There was also a calligraphy demonstration of the name of the new era, ‘Reiwa’ (令和) in Japanese.

The guests also enjoyed tea ceremony, koto music, and flower arrangements.
Group photo Governor signing the guest book
'Reiwa' Tea ceremony and koto performance

Reception for Former MEXT Scholars

On Friday 29 March, Consul-General Matsunaga hosted a reception for the former recipients of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) scholarship in Victoria at his residence. Thirteen ex-MEXT scholars attended and introduced themselves one by one with their stories of life in Japan and now. The evening was a great success and provided an opportunity for MEXT alumni to make connections each other. At the reception, the Melbourne MEXT Alumni Association (MMAA) was officially formed.

For details of the MEXT scholarship, click here.

Public lecture by Professor Yasuhiro Matsuda

On 15 March, the Consulate-General of Japan in partnership with Monash University hosted a public seminar titled “The Dilemma between Security and Economy: Japan’s Strategy toward the ‘New Cold War’” at the Monash University Law Chambers in Melbourne CBD.

Professor Yasuhiro Matsuda from Tokyo University explained what constitutes the new cold war and discussed Japan's current dilemma as well as their upcoming strategies in its relationships with China and US, respectively. The seminar attracted more than 50 audiences.

Consul-General’s Commendation to the City of Burnside

On Monday 4 March, an award ceremony was held at the Burnside Library in Adelaide, South Australia, where Consul-General Matsunaga presented a certificate to the City of Burnside. Thirty four guests attended including Mayor Anne Monceaux (Mayor of the City of Burnside), three other elected members of the City of Burnside, The Honourable Andrew McLachlan CSC MLC, (President of the South Australian Legislative Council), Japanese teachers, as well as other members of Japan-related organisations.

The City of Burnside has been contributing to the promotion of Japanese culture through organising the annual event “Japanese Cultural Day” for the last 10 years, with the support of Australia-Japan Society of South Australia. Moreover, the venue of the award ceremony, Burnside Library, holds many Japanese books in its collection. In 2008, the library developed an online catalogue written in both Japanese and English for the books through the assistance of volunteers, which allowed both local Japanese people as well as Japanese language learners to conveniently utilise the system.

The City of Burnside was awarded the Consul-General’s commendation for their contribution in deepening mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia.
Consul-General's Commendation Hon Andrew McLachlan CSC MLC
Attendees Group Photo

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

On Sunday 24 February, the 2019 Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival took place at Federation Square in Melbourne, which celebrated its 10th year of running. Mr Norikazu Suzuki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited all the way from Japan, and Mr Reiichiro Takahashi, the newly appointed Ambassador of Japan to Australia was also one of the special guests at the event. The event attracted a crowd of approximately 40,000 people.

Consul-General Matsunaga made an opening remark at the festival, where he swiftly changed from his kimono to his ninja costume. He emphasised the importance of interculturalism, which he believes is the key ingredient to Melbourne’s multicultural society.

The festival attendees enjoyed performances of taiko, shamisen, sansen, Bon-odori and yosakoi, as well as iaido demonstration, and Japanese food and culture at festival stalls.
Serving bite-sized steaks

Consul-General’s Award to Rosny College

On Saturday 16 February, an award ceremony was held in Hobart, Tasmania where Consul-General Matsunaga presented a certificate to Rosny College in recognition of its distinguished contributions to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia. Rosny College has been teaching taiko drumming since 2014, and last year its students went to Japan and visited local high schools.

Approximately 60 guests from across the Tasmania-Japan community attended the award ceremony in Hobart, including The Hon. Jacquie Petrusma MP, Minister for Disability Services and Community Development, and were treated to a taiko performance by the students.

Rosny College will continue its taiko drumming program, and further exchanges between Japan and Australia are expected as a result of this cultural initiative.
Consul-General Matsunaga with the Students Consul-General Presenting the Award
Taiko Performance Group Photo

Junior Wheelchair Camp and the Opening of the Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open

On Monday 14 January, Consul-General Matsunaga attended the Junior Wheelchair Camp and the Opening of the Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open at Hume Tennis & Community Centre, co-hosted by our consulate and Tennis Australia. Around 120 people participated in the event, which included not only the world-class wheelchair tennis players such as Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji, but also junior wheelchair tennis players including the 3 invited from Japan as well as coaches and those involved in this year’s tennis tournaments.

At the event, the chef at the Consul-General's official residence provided Japanese food such as sushi rolls, okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes), and bite-sized steaks made using Japanese wagyu, providing an opportunity for the participants to understand Japanese food culture better.
Moreover, the wheelchair tennis episode of Ani x Para (Animation and Paralympic): Who is Your Hero? featuring Shingo Kunieda was screened at the venue. Ani x Para is a series of short animation works produced by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, conveying the appeal of Paralympic sports through the unknown stories of athletes through Japanese anime. The wheelchair tennis episode screening was accompanied by a commentary by Mr Kunieda himself, which turned out to be a big success.

Both Consul-General Matsunaga’s opening remarks as well as Ms Kamiji’s interview highlighted the efforts and positive approaches taken by Japan to provide a diverse and inclusive society, in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Consul-General's Speech Shingo Kunieda's Interview
Ani x Para Yui Kamiji's Interview
Interviewing Junior Players Serving bite-sized steaks

2018 Event Archive

2017 Event Archive